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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Enviro minister Baird bails in Bali

Posted on Tue, Dec 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Canada's environment minister ducked out of a speech he was supposed to give today at the big UN global warming conference in Bali, according to a local woman on the scene. Dartmouth's Lise Richard just sent a note about the sinister minister, which I'm sharing with you below, hot off the email wire:

As negotiations continue in Bali and we enter into the alleged high profile plenary discussions, global leaders are arriving en masse to bring their governments positions to the table. One of such "highly esteemed" global 'leaders' is our own Canadian Minister of the Environment, Minister John Baird. Having arrived on Saturday, and appearing to be in good spirits, ready for the upcoming week the official Canadian delegates arranged for a UNFCCC side event, on Tuesday December 11 at 8pm. This events was meant to give non-governmental organizations (NGO's) a chance to hear about the Canadian governments plan for 60 to 70% carbon emission reduction plan, along with their proposed actions for post 2012 initiatives; or so they thought. Arriving at the side event and greeting the Minister, delegates sat patiently to hear the Canadian Governments plan to combat climate change; but instead were presented with environmental actions taken on from three business including, ENCANA, IOGEN and PlascoEnergy. After hearing about some innovative Canadian technologies the floor was opened for questions, skipping the promised presentation from Minister Baird. When questioned, the panel revealed that Minister Baird was unable to attend the side event due to pressing negotiations in the plenary. Minister Baird was seen leaving the side event venue, wearing flip flops, and members of the Climate Action Network Canada attending the negotiations in the plenary confirmed that Baird was no where to be seen, and that no pressing issues in need of a Ministers attendance were discussed during the meeting. However it was also brought to the attention of the delegates that there was a Ministerial dinner event happening at the same time. Although none were shocked by the Ministers absence, all were not only embarrassed but hurt that during the Canadian Governments official side event that was supposed to outline Canada's stance and plan of actions regarding climate change did not take place. In lieu of presenting this incredibly important information, business leaders were given the opportunity to make sales pitches. One such leader was quoted as saying he felt they were 'hung out to dry' by the Canadian government, and left to bear the brunt of the overwhelming upset amid the delegates in attendance. This was not only a slap in the face to the Canadian public and a slight to the international community, but the Canadian government did not feel that it was important enough to divulge one of the leading industrialized world's plan against climate change. These actions taken by the Canadian government at the UNFCCC is not only an embarrassment to all Canadians but a mockery of their commitment and resolve to combat climate change. An official Australian delegate spoke to the Canadian Youth Delegation and was quoted as saying "I'm not even Canadian; and I'm embarrassed." —Lise Richard, DartmouthCanadian Youth Delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Bali, Indonesia

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