That’s from here. And here’s what it’s all about:
Canada taking a beating from all sides at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro this week, but Environment Minister Peter Kent says the criticism is “unwarranted.”
The conference, dubbed Rio+20 as it takes place 20 years after the original Rio Earth Summit in 1992, will include 50,000 delegates and activists, as well as more than 130 world leaders. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend.
Kent will lead the Canadian delegation. U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron are among other world leaders not attending Rio+20.
The summit is being panned before it even starts by environmentalists who say that its draft blueprint for sustainable development has no firm timelines or commitments, and they are pointing fingers at Canada for that weakness.
“Canada’s role has been at its best not engaging in the process, and at worst acting to weaken ambitious language and delete commitments,” said Cameron Fenton, director of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, in an email to the Canadian Press.
Critics also say that Canada played a part in weakening a new agreement aimed at protecting ocean biodiversity.
“It’s a big failure of Rio, especially since this was talked about as the ‘summit of the seas,”‘ said Susanna Fuller, marine conservation co-ordinator for the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.
On CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said that Canada’s role at Rio+20 stands in sharp contrast to the leading role it took under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1992. May was an environmental lawyer, activist, and advisor to the Canadian delegation then. Now, she says, she can’t get on a government delegation.
“What Stephen Harper’s doing right now is going to destroy Canada’s reputation. The world community sees us for what Canada is right now: a country that’s gone rogue on its environmental commitments,” she said.
Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who was Canada’s environment minister at the 1992 Earth Summit, says that Canada must show more leadership at Rio+20.
“If we don’t make that demonstration to the rest of the world,” he said, “we put ourselves in a position where we’re vulnerable to markets, where the perception of our products can be criticized.”
But Kent says the criticism is “unwarranted” and “trivializes” the amount of work and negotiation that will happen at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
…where Peter Fucking Kent, acting perhaps on the orders of the Harper Government (and its Big Bidness puppetmasters), but not so much on behalf of Canadians, will no doubt continue to make an ass of himself and embarrass his country internationally as is his wont, lecturing everyone else on the evils of environmentalism and the virtues of running a government by, of and for the money. Which is grossly out of touch with a vast majority of Canadians, if the above poll result is any indication.