The cutoff date for candidates to enter the Federal Liberal Leadership race is fast approaching. So far, only 2 candidates are officially in the race (Justin Trudeau and Deborah Coyne.) The media coverage has been almost completely about Trudeau since he announced on October 2nd. The Liberal Party needs a vibrant, competitive leadership race for the health of the party. With Mr. Trudeau based in Quebec and Ms. Coyne being from Ontario, there is still room for at least one B.C. candidate (with both Marc Garneau* and Trudeau being from Quebec there will be a real opportunity to build a strong Liberal presence in la belle province once again.) Although Alex Burton and David Merner are both really intriguing candidates, I think that Joyce Murray will be a first-tier candidate able to compete with Garneau and Trudeau at the convention in April.
- Business Experience: Unlike Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair, Murray isn’t a career politician. In 1979, she co-founded “Brinkman and Associates Reforestation.” This company works on reforestation and sustainability initiatives in British Columbia. It has expanded to Alberta, Ontario and Central America. The Liberal Party needs to have credibility on the economy and Ms. Murray’s business experience would go a long way on that front.
- Government Experience: In the B.C. government Murray served as Minister of Water, Land, and Air Protection from 2001-2004**, and then as Minister of Management Services until June 2005. Her governing experience would be invaluable for the Liberal Party.
- Environmental Credentials: As a former Minister and co-founder of a pro-environmental buisness Murray has solid environmental credentials. She has introduced 2 private members’ bills both of which were environmental policies. In June 2008, she put forward Bill C-572, which proposed exempting bicycles, bike accessories, repairs, and safety training from GST because she believes in sustainable transportation. This would be appealing in a lot of Canada’s urban centres. In December 2010, she introduced Bill C-606, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, banning oil tanker traffic on Canada’s Pacific North Coast.
- The Liberal Party needs to build out West: Ms. Murray was able to win her seat and keep it during 2 elections that were particularly terrible for the Liberal Party.
- Bilingual: Ms. Murray is fluently bilingual and has been doing interviews with Quebec’s French-language media as of late.
- Clean break from the past: First elected in 2008, Ms. Murray (along with Garneau and Trudeau) would give the Liberal Party a break from the scandals that lead to the recent electoral defeats of the LPC.
I hope candidates seeking the Liberal Leadership declare sooner rather than later. Though Justin Trudeau is the prohibitive front-runner, I expect Ms. Murray will bring a lot to the race and give him a run for his money.
*In a speech to the Northumberland–Quinte West Federal Liberal Association Garneau outlined his 3 priorities “if” he decided to seek the liberal leadership. So it is safe to assume he’s in.
** Her nickname was “Minister of Earth, Wind and Fire.”
Posted in British Columbia, Canadian Politics, Liberal Leadership, Liberal Party of Canada, The Environment
Tagged #LPCldr, Deborah Coyne, environment, Joyce Murray, Justin Trudeau, liberal leadership, Marc Garneau
This clip is from the energy section of the State of the Union speech. President Obama followed his promise to get rid of $4 billion worth of government subsidies to oil companies with a commitment to “bring high-speed rail to 80% of Americans within 25 years.” President Obama knows that high-speed rail is good for manufacturing in the short-term and produces many long-term benefits (economically and environmentally.)
The Liberal Party of Canada should commit to high-speed rail. Many journalists/political scientists have determined that Stephen Harper’s biggest weakness is his lack of vision. Bullet trains could be just the thing to capture the Canadian imagination and take the fight to PM Harper.
Posted in Canadian Politics, Conservative Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada, Politics, The Environment, Trains, United States Politics, Video
Tagged Barack Obama, high-speed rail, Michael Ignatieff, President Obama, SOTU, state of the union, Stephen Harper, The Environment, Trains, vision
“For me it is more of a technical term, because it is a very heavy form of petroleum that takes a great degree of energy input to get one usable unit of energy out. It’s not just petroleum where in the old days it literally bubbled up through the ground and could be collected. Obviously the stuff that’s on the surface is much easier to drill for, it comes up under natural pressure and takes very little refining. The petroleum material that is coming out of Alberta is indeed much more like a tar substance, that requires a great deal of refining and a great deal of energy and that’s something that again is unsustainable. It takes two or three units of energy input to get one usable unit of energy out, in the form of gasoline or some other product, and ultimately that’s just not sustainable. So it is a tar.“
- Terry Tamminen (former Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and adviser to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) on CBC’s Power & Politics, January 5, 2011.
In the Gulf of Mexico is the remains of “Deepwater Horizon” an ultra-deepwater dynamic positioned semi-submersible oil rig built in 2001. On April 22 the oil rig that exploded, caught fire and then sank 36 hours later. The well could be spilling up to 336,000 gallons of crude oil a day, the Coast Guard said, and the rig carried 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The exact scale of the environmental damage this explosion is doing and will do is still beyond most experts’ imagination. One possible solution is to set the oil on fire.
More recently, Cape Cod in Massachusetts finally approve a project to build more than 130 wind turbines off their coast. The project, called Cape Wind, will supply an average of 183 megawatts — or up to three-quarters of the electricity needs for Cape Cod and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket — without producing carbon or any other pollutant.
Which one of these is the eyesore again?
An Iceberg the size of Luxembourg recently broke off from glacier in Antarctica.
An interesting juxtaposition.
Some articles: here, here, here.
* His Majesty’s Conservative Ship.
Posted in Canadian Politics, Conservative Party of Canada, Images, The Environment
Tagged Climate Change, Conservative Party of Canada, CPC, iceberg, ignorance, Maxime Bernier, Stephen Harper, The Environment
“We now recognize that it’s possible to be a “skeptic,” or at least to keep an open mind about nearly all critical aspects of the warming theory. For example, while no one questions whether there has been warming, there is no consensus among scientists as to its degree.
What is certain is that it would be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars and to impose unnecessarily stringent regulations to solve a problem whose gravity we still are not certain about. The alarmism that has characterized this debate is no longer appropriate. Canada is wise to be cautious.“
- Maxime Bernier.
Former/Disgraced Minister Maxime Bernier is trying to rebrand himself as a fiery, right-wing, populist. First, he came out in favour of sharp budget cuts, now he is denying global warming. Apparently, the Rob Anders situation isn’t the only thing dividing the Conservative Party of Canada. Environment Minister Jim Prentice tweeted the following eight days ago:
The disconnect between Minister Prentice and Mr. Bernier is almost as large as the one between Bernier and reality. The problem is that while Jim Prentice acts nominally sane, it is Bernier’s wrong view that is entrenched in Stephen Harper’s environment/science policies. The Conservative Party of Canada has neglected scientific investment to the detriment of the Canadian environment and to innovation/technology in this country. Stephen Harper’s do-nothing-conservative government has been at its do-nothingest when it comes to climate-change and the environment [insert Gold Medal joke.]
Climate-Change/Global Warming is being caused by humans. This is a fact.
The Conservative Party of Canada’s ignorance reveals that not only do they abhor facts but also that they have no idea when they are doing when it comes to the economy/job creation. If every other country is investing in reducing carbon omissions, creating clean-energy and regulation pollution then Canada will lose out on a huge economic opportunity because Stephen Harper would rather keep lots of money in the pockets of polluters than keep money in the pockets of polluters while creating high-tech, high-paying green jobs.
Prorogation has revealed what the majority of Canadians knew about the Harper government. Maxime Bernier’s boorishness isn’t the beginning but it is a very public symbol.
Stephen Harper has been exposed as an incompetent fiscal manager in creating the largest deficit in the history of Canada. He spurned his Reform-Party populism by appointing more Senators in a single year than any other Prime Minister after emphatically opposing such action for more than a decade. With so-little red-meat left for Harper to give to his base we can expect more of this kind of hyper-partisan yet bereft of facts campaigning from Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada. The Conservatives will probably try to hide future statements, sending them only to their base.
Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Though the CPC doesn’t believe in investing in solar power.
President Obama mentioned the need for the United States to upgrade their antiquated rail system in 2010 State of the Union and gave specifics on January 28th. “The White House announced the awarding of $8 billion in stimulus funding to kick-start high-speed-rail projects and improve service in 13 corridors across the country.”
China is currently spending $300 billion to build more than 16,000 miles of high-speed track by 2020.
Europe and Japan are famous for their efficient and inexpensive high-speed rail.
In Korea the KTX travels at 300 km/h and has been a boon to the already awesome Korean economy.
Though President Obama and the United States are coming late to the High-Speed Rail table they are still ahead of Canada. Stephen Harper’s government has failed to invest in high-speed rail even though it would greatly benefit Canada’s economy by creating jobs and linking our dispersed population centers. “We can’t let the Americans get the jump on us,” said federal Liberal transport critic Joe Volpe. “We’re better equipped than they are to do this and we can’t have a small-thinking government . . . stand in the way.” The Obama high-speed rail plan will benefit several Canadian cities and provides a great opportunity for the Canadian government to invest in high-speed rail.
Instead of spending taxpayer money on a Go-Train photo Ops Prime Minister Harper should invest that money in high-speed rail.