Among developed nations, Canada will now stand alone in Copenhagen blocking global progress.
Ottawa (8 Oct. 2009) - Liberal and Conservative MPs joined forces this week to defeat a motion by the New Democrats to return Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, to the House for a vote prior to the Copenhagen climate conference in December.
The bill would commit Canada to science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets and hold the government publicly accountable for action on the issue.
In defeating the motion, the two mainline parties ignored pleas from thousands of Canadians to expedite review and passage of Bill C-311. A vote on the bill will now be delayed as late as Dec. 11 – too late to make a difference in Copenhagen.
As a result, Canada will now be seen at Copenhagen as a nation standing alone in blocking global progress on this critical issue.
“Despite their rhetoric, (the) vote confirms that the Liberals and Conservatives have joined forces to prevent a vote in Parliament on Canada’s commitment to serious action on climate change,” said NDP environment critic Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona), a member of the Commons environment committee.
Polls clearly show that Canadians want a federal commitment to science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets.
“We have had enough foot-dragging and posturing from successive Liberal and Conservative governments," Duncan said. "We will not give up. New Democrats will continue to fight for action on climate change and to restore Canada’s place in the world.”
The Liberals have voted in favour of this bill three times before and could still do their part to move C-311 through committee as soon as possible. A house vote on the bill is still possible before Copenhagen if the Liberals change their tune.
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