Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beth Graham and the Ontario PC's missing in action on climate change

Beth Graham, the PC's candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean, is a former chair of the Nepean Environmental Advisory Committee, but while she is running, perhaps she should get used to being ignored by the PC Party, since they are proud to ignore the climate change file.

Let's review the recent PC record when it comes to climate change and environmental issues:

First some numbers.

-Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod, who firmly supported Graham for the nomination has been invisible on the issue of climate change. The number of times MacLeod made any reference to climate change in her speeches in the legislature since being elected in 2006: 0

-Number of times the phrase "climate change" shows up on Beth Graham's website: 0

-Number of times the word "environment" appears on Graham's website, aside from direct references to her former chairing of the Advisory Committee: 0

--Number of times Tim Hudak's newsroom on his website has mentioned climate change since becoming leader in July 2009: 0

-Number of "From the Park Bench" articles written by Tim Hudak on his website which have mentioned climate change since he became leader: 0

-Number of times PC MPP's used the phrase "climate change" in Question Period debate concerning the Green Energy Act: 0 (see for yourself at{08A4F8DB-0D09-475C-8721-3B0C8A0CC5B3)

-Number of times climate change has been mentioned in any PC news releases about the Green Energy Act: 0

And now some greater background info:

-The PC stunt of putting forward 500,000 amendments to the HST bill cost Ontario taxpayer a quarter of a million dollars and killed 620 trees worth of paper.

-The PC's voted against the Green Energy Act, which looks set to create thousands of jobs and help move forward the 21st century economy Ontario needs.

-Lisa MacLeod, who Graham used to work for, gave a number of speeches in the Legislature attacking the Green Energy Act. In these speeches she supported unscientific conspiracy theory claims linking wind turbines and health. While the Ontario Liberals create green jobs, the Ontario PC's would put ignorant ideology ahead of fighting climate change and creating new jobs.

-Toby Barrett is the PC environment critic, which is an apt title for him, since he is very quick to be critical of anything that could help the environment. A look at his website shows that he is a cheerleader for climate change denial, with a column on his website entitled "How much is climate change going to cost us?" saying that;

"By the time this column is published, global leaders will be discussing climate change in Copenhagen putting this issue where it belongs - in an international forum".

It is quite remarkable for a provincial party environment spokesperson would totally discount the role that sub-national governments have to play in fighting climate change, particularly considering that in Canada, the provincial governments, and in particular, the governments of Ontario, Quebec, and BC, have played leading roles.

-Barrett's website also includes a whole section dedicated to fighting against the eventual closure of coal fired plants in favour of cleaner energy sources, again, this is the official opposition environment spokesperson.

-Under the Hot Issues heading on his website, Barrett has nothing about climate change, but does have whole sections devoted to coal and tobacco. Again, this coming from the PC environment spokesperson.

-In regards to the government's cap and trade legislation, Barrett said this:

"Barrett warned government of the unwanted impact of provincial tinkering with a worldwide problem.

So the position of the Ontario PC's and Beth Graham is that taking action to help create jobs for Ontario, move the economy forward, and fight climate change is "unwanted tinkering"?

And of course, gotta love those Landowners:

-Randy Hillier, a would be caucus-mate of Graham, told environmental activists to "stop breathing".

-Hillier, who endorsed Hudak for PC leader, and is the labour critic for his party, openly denied climate change while running in the 2007 election;

" Randy Hillier, an Eastern Ontario Conservative candidate, isn't shy about casting doubt on the prevailing scientific theory about global warming...Mr. Hillier made the comments while arguing in favour of keeping Ontario's coal-burning power plants open...As to the greenhouse gases, don't worry about them, Mr. Hillier said."

-The Ontario Landowners association's (of which Hillier used to be the president, and which has declared plans to attempt to win PC nominations in ridings across Ontario for the next election) Glengarry branch sponsored a screening of the trash climate change denial "documentary" The Great Global Warming Swindle in August 2008.

-The Unanimous Declaration of independent Landowners Associations on the 25th day of February, 2006 makes explicit reference to "false environmentalism".

If the PC's can't be trusted to put forward anything resembling a coherent platform regarding the environment, or indeed, take any steps under Tim Hudak to actually acknowledge the issue, they and Beth Graham can't be trusted with the province of Ontario.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beth Graham cracker was the chair of the NEPEAN Environmental advisory committee which was about 15 years ago. Since then she has been completely absent in the riding of Ottawa West Nepean and the PC riding association has no clue who she even is. He last foray into politics was getting her butt kicked by Rick Chiarelli in 1994 when she "ran" against him municipaly.