Canadian Liberals Propose $1b "Green Fund"

Samir Syed
by Samir Syed

The Canadian Press reports that the Liberal Party (with a capital L) has pledged a $1b fund to subsidize R&D in green technologies. Party Leader Stéphane Dion notes that Canada must go green via government subsidies– or else: "Tax cuts alone are not enough… Innovation is essential to the survival of our industries, but it can be an expensive undertaking." Ostensibly, some of money will go to Ontario, where the heart of Canadian automotive manufacturing aches with the pain of high fuel prices and an atmospheric loonie. Though he slammed a similar amount promised by the current Conservative government– albeit as a high-dollar relief measure not a Green subsidy– Canadian Auto Workers' head honcho Buzz Hargrove welcomed the announcement. "This fund would provide a much-needed boost to struggling manufacturers and the workers they employ, particularly the auto industry which is grappling with unfair trade, a slowing U.S. economy, a high dollar and environmental challenges." Buzz has always known where his friends lie (so to speak). But let's not forget that Canada's Liberals have an abysmal environmental track record. After Jean Chrétien's Liberal government ratified the Kyoto protocol, Canada became the number one per capita consumer of energy among the developed world. Greenhouse gas emissions rose by 26 percent during the years the Liberals held power (so to speak). Still, no political party has a lock on hypocrisy.

Samir Syed
Samir Syed

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  • Dean Dean on Jan 21, 2008

    What Samir doesn't mention is that the lion's share of Canada's per capita increase in GHG emissions has come from the extraction and refining of the oil sands in Alberta. In other words, the average Canadian did not suddenly become the world's most profligate emitter. If you ignore the oil sands, we emit less than our southern neighbours.

  • Blunozer Blunozer on Jan 21, 2008

    You got to remember too, us Canucks burn a lot of our power just heating our homes during our colder nights. It also taks a lot more gas to go from town-to-town in a country with a low population density.

  • Samir Syed Samir Syed on Jan 21, 2008

    dean and blunozer: all of that's fine, hey business is business and life is life. What irritates is that it was all done under a veneer of environmental hypocrisy.

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Jan 21, 2008

    The guy pictured on the left with CAW union boss Buzz Hargrove is actually Ontario Liberal Premier (provincial el supremo) Dalton McGuinty. Canadian Liberals have a track record for promising anything to get elected then reneging. I believe that is roughly equivalent to U.S. Democrats. Regardless, there hasn't been enough money printed for them to keep all their promises. Fortunately there is virtually no chance federal Liberal Party Leader Stéphane Dion, who last week suggested NATO invade nuclear-armed Pakistan, will ever become Prime Minster (federal maximum utmost).