-by Larry Powell-
So Canada has a new Minister of the Environment!
Peter Kent used to be a credible journalist with CBC Television News many years ago.
But Kent's appointement comes at a time when Canada's reputation on fighting the scourges of climate change remains in the toilet.
He takes over from Jim Prentice, who abandon his post late last year to take a cushy job with a major bank which helps enable the Alberta tar sands, the worlds dirtiest energy project. Such, I guess, are the ethical standards to which Stephen Harper holds his appointees!
Harper and his minions have been preaching for some time, Canada will follow the US lead and taylor our environmental policies after them.
Since President Obama is actually doing something concrete about climate change, I guess that means we will be too, then, Mr. Kent?
Obama has given the go-ahead to the Environmental Protection Agency to use powers it has held for some time under the Clean Air Act. Buttressed by a ruling from the US Supreme Court, the EPA will start to enforce greenhouse gas emission limits for coal-fiired power plants in the next couple of years.
It's kind of "put up or shut up time" for Canada, one might say.
So which will it be, Peter? A future made up of genuine efforts by you and our government to steer away from a calamatous future full of weather catastrophes and economic collapse due to global warming; Or one of continued subservience to the powerful and rich, non-sustainable energy lobby?
Opposition parties say Kent will do little more for the environment than recite the cautious script prepared for him by the Prime Minister's Office.
And the oil industry is confident that it will continue to be smooth sailing down the road for it.
So, which will it be, Peter?
Will it be more of the same under your watch? Or will you do something honourable and right for our nation and our planet by bringing in strict regulation of the industry - an element that has been shamfully lacking for far too long.