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Bali: Fuzzy Optics

By Eve Savory, CBCNews.ca

Either John Baird doesn’t worry about optics, or someone didn’t tell him they matter. Today’s Globe and Mail reported that industry is part of the official Canadian delegation in Bali.

Earlier, the Environment Minister had broken a treasured tradition of including Opposition leaders and representatives of industry, environmental, youth and aboriginal groups.

A representative of Encana, the oil and gas company, is an official delegate. That status means it and several other businesses will get the same briefings the minister gets, access to Canadian documents and closed-door meetings.

In 1992, at the Earth Summit in Rio, the Conservative government had started the tradition by making the Canadian delegation inclusive. I remember being invited to videotape the breakfast meeting – but not the secret briefing that followed.

It’s possible that Baird, a rookie at these immensely complicated international meetings, would have benefited from the contacts, insight, and advice of the Opposition leaders and environmental groups. On the other hand they benefit by not being included. Members of the delegation are sworn to secrecy, and nothing now binds them from speaking.

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Comments

Dawn Turpin

I would say it's pretty clear that Mr.Baird doesn't care about the 'optics' at all. The fact that he and his party are willing to stand up in front of the world and say "we're not going to do it if THEY don't have to" has cost Canada our image as a leader-by-example. I am deeply appalled and deeply ashamed of this government, and what it's doing to our role in the world.

Posted December 12, 2007 12:23 PM

Rhett Reilkoff

Saskatoon

This is terrible, we need to vote these idiots out of power asap. They are literally endangering my life, your life, the life of our families with their idiotic policies and this has to stop now!

Posted December 12, 2007 12:24 PM

John Stone

Ottawa

Hi Eve,
As my mother would say: "there are none so deaf as those that don't want to hear". I am increasingly convinced that this government would wish that the issue of climate change went away. Unfortunately, it will not. I'm afraid Canada may be on the wrong side of history.

John

Posted December 12, 2007 07:59 PM

Mike Williams

The critics of John Baird and the current Canadian Government border on pornographic misrepresentation of the facts.
Words without action are absolutely meaningless. Past governments have blindly committed to policies that they never had any intention of honoring. I would rather have a government that hesitates to commit until such time as it knows that the objectives are realistic and achievable.
Those people who percieve Canada as a global leader in environmental issues are dreaming in technicolour. Compared to many modern European nations, we have always lagged behind. Foreign-owned corporations will get away with as much as they can. Canadian corporations, including cities such as Montreal and Victoria have pumped raw sewage into the oceans for decades. Anyone who thinks that we have a proud history of environmental stewardship is full of ^(*!

Posted December 12, 2007 11:03 PM

David Singh

Montreal

Who really keeps secrets nowadays.

It is plain spite and a desire to control the domestic agenda that Baird and his advisors in the PMO thought of.

Check the other nations' media. Canada is ignored, except in statistical charts of great polluters of air (and water).
Canada is unimportant in the scheme of things.

Posted December 14, 2007 02:41 AM

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