Yes or no? -

Yes or no?


Megan Leslie didn’t get an answer from Joe Oliver yesterday, so she asked him again this afternoon to clarify his understanding of climate change. And then she asked him again. And then she asked him again. Here’s how that went.

Megan Leslie: Surely the minister knows the basics of his file and he must know that hydrocarbons are a leading cause of climate change. So can the minister tell us if he agrees with the scientific link between hydrocarbons and climate change, yes or no?

Joe Oliver: Mr. Speaker, what I said yesterday, as the government’s policy, is that we will only approve projects that are safe for Canadians and for the environment. We are in favour of projects which will create jobs and economic activity and which will be nation builders for Canadians right across this country, from coast to coast to coast.

Megan Leslie: Mr. Speaker, I did not hear an answer and maybe that is because the minister does not understand the question. Hydrocarbons are these tiny little compounds that form a gas called methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that causes climate change. This is not theology; this is science. I will ask again. Does the minister understand and agree that hydrocarbons cause climate change, yes or no?

Joe Oliver: Mr. Speaker, I have invested over $10 billion in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating energy efficiency programs. The oil sands, which represent 1/1,000 of global emissions, have had their emissions reduced by over 30% in the last 12 years. The gap between oil sands oil and conventional oil is narrow, about 5% to 10%, and it is narrowing even further. We favour technological innovation which will improve the performance of the oil sands.

Megan Leslie: Mr. Speaker, the minister cannot answer this question. Let us back up a bit … there is one thing the minister and I agree on, there is a radical fringe group that is trying to block Canada’s movement forward and is moving our economy forward. They do believe in elaborate scientific conspiracies theories and they are backed by big foreign groups. They are called climate change deniers. I would like the minister to clarify, does he believe in the science of climate change or is he a denier?

Joe Oliver: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite continues to talk about the radicals. Let us remember what some people believe. There are some radicals who do oppose all hydrocarbon development. There are some who think that 1/1000 of 1% addition to global warming will somehow destroy the planet. These are people who are not backed by science. We are going to continue to support job-creating projects that are important to build this country.


Yes or no?

  1. “these tiny little compounds”

    Maybe she’s being too technical for him.  LOL

  2. Obama increased thermal coal exports from the United States to Asia over 75% last year.  

    • Is the USA a command economy? I had no idea Obama spent his days in the Oval Office dispatching coal production.

  3. They just don’t seem to get it…it matters not what the impact of tar sands extraction is, it is the impact of the burning of all this oil that is extracted, no matter where it is burned in the world.  Where is the political will to move to sustainable, green energy sources.  Shame on you PMO.

  4. It has been the position of this Government since seizing power that climate change is occurring, and that GHG are part of the problem.  It took me roughly 4 seconds to confirm this by visiting Environment Canada’s website:

    “Climate change is a global problem that requires real solutions. That’s why the Government of Canada supports an aggressive approach to achieve real environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians.

    Additional Climate Change InformationThe following resources provide information on Canada’s climate change science and research, greenhouse gas emissions reporting, and other key topics.Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
    Climate Change Science and Research
    Climate Research ActivitiesAnd:”Canada is committed to tackling climate change through sustained action to build a low-carbon economy that includes reaching a global agreement, working with our North American partners and taking action domestically.” 

    For Leslie to suggest that the government is a “denier” is just stupid.

    • So why are they doing SFA about it? Where are the public programs to stop wasting energy and to increase energy efficiency? Where are the major investments in public transportation? Where is the carbon tax? Why are they still giving our taxpayer dollars to fossil fuel companies in subsidies? Why aren’t they investing in clean energy?

      • So why are they doing SFA about it?”

        Because you are experiencing extreme cognitive dissonance – you just can’t wrap your head around the fact that the Harper government has spent ten billion dollars already fighting climate change.  If you follow the above link, you can get answers to some of your other questions.

        Now, my question to you is: how is it possible that you are ignorant of the fact the Harper government has been fighting AGW for six years?  

        • How is it possible that you believe and repeat any old lie they tell? They have cancelled energy efficient programs, they have fired many Environment Canada scientists and are gutting our environment programs, and they lie  that they are doing things and fools like you believe them.

      • It’s called lip service.

    • If it is just “stupid” then why cant the minister answer the question? I am thinking the minister may be “stupid” for not being able to answer a simple yes or no question.

    • If that’s the government’s position, then why doesn’t he simply say, “Yes, they do, and we’re dealing with it as I keep trying to explain to you.”

      What’s so hard about answering a question?

  5. History and science has passed you by, oh you climate change radicals.  Please try to read, watch, or listen to something other than Gore, Suzuki and other Megan Leslie heroes.  You might be surprised that there is another narrative, a pretty compelling one. 

    • Yup…NASA and the Pentagon both agree on GW

    • Compelling, but wrong. That’s why it’s been rejected by the actual experts in the field. The scientific consensus in favour of anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming, and the “arguments” against it universally debunked. Perhaps you should try to read, watch or listen to something other than the misinformation put forward by those who continue to deny it.

      • Senorito likely thinks NASA and the Pentagon are environmental extremists for agreeing with it.

    • You would think  that Joe Oliver would be able to articulate that narrative then, instead of calling people who disagree extremists and radicals.

    • You might be surprised that there is another narrative, a pretty compelling one.

      Does it have dragons? Because I like my fiction to have dragons.
      Compelling narratives are not the same as facts. Movies have narratives. Facts are facts. Sure, narratives are more interesting…it’s the main reason why “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was a best-selling book in several languages that was turned into a movie (then turned into an American movie) and has inspired a bunch of network pilots, while the “AR4 Synthesis Report” is yet to get a second look by agents.

    • Yep, a total conspiracy theory. For an alternative view, check out these statements from some real hardcore climate change radicals. From their websites:

      British Petroleum: “Current forecasts underscore the size of the climate change challenge. BP’s analysis suggests that CO2 emissions could rise by at least 27% by 2030, despite expected tightening in global climate policy. Even assuming that more aggressive policy changes are enacted, carbon emissions are likely to rise by up to 9% by 2030. We support policies that we believe can address climate change while also making it possible for society to meet growing demand for secure and affordable energy.”ExxonMobil: “Rising greenhouse-gas emissions pose significant risks to society and ecosystems. Since most of these emissions are energy-related, any integrated approach to meeting the world’s growing energy needs over the coming decades must incorporate strategies to address the risk of climate change.”Chevron: “We recognize and share the concerns of governments and the public about climate change. The use of fossil fuels to meet the world’s energy needs is a contributor to an increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs)—mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane—in the Earth’s atmosphere. There is a widespread view that this increase is leading to climate change, with adverse effects on the environment.” (from

  6. Joe Oliver has no cojones.

    • Actually, all cabinet members (male and female alike) are required to deposit their cojones with the Prime Minister for safekeeping for as long as they are in the cabinet.

  7. “Hydrocarbons are these tiny little compounds that form a gas called methane.”

    And high school chemistry teachers across the country cringe. No, Megan. Methane is a type of hydrocarbon. The combustion of which produces carbon dioxide which is the primary gas driving climate change. If you’re going to claim that someone is in denial of the science the very least you can do is get the science right.

    • She isn’t the one you need to worry about….she’s simplifying for her audience

    • Methane, unburnt, is a much more powerful greenhouse gas on a per-molecule basis than carbon dioxide.  Luckily, as you say, there is a lot less of it in the atmosphere than CO2.

  8. Megan Leslie has a BA from York.

    Joe Oliver has a BA and a law degree from McGill, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, all of which he obtained before the classless, rude, and uppity Miss Leslie was even born. 

    • In short, an entitled, old white guy.

      • Ethnomasochism is a cheap, dumb, boring substitute for social justice.   Oliver got his seat in Parliament and his degrees without the benefit of gender quotas, which is more than the entitled Miss Leslie can say.

        • We know how he got his position…he’s an old white guy.

        • Then why is he so threatened by her?

          • He’s not, obviously.

          • You havn’t been watching him in QP, obviously. I almost feel sorry for him.

          • You watch QP? Seriously?

        • At least Miss Leslie can answer yes or no questions which is a helluva lot more than we can say for Mr “those opposed R radicals” Oliver

        • What evidence have you that Leslie obtained either her degree or her seat through gender quotas?

          • In this sub-thread alone I count 8 braying hyenas asking me questions and generally stalking and annoying the crap out of me.  

            How about *you* contribute something and I pester you for evidence for a change?

          • How about you quitting your job as the ‘winter temp’…just admit you’re not up to it, and return to school.

          • Ah – the Joe Oliver response.  I hope your shaking your fist in the air.

          • I thought not. Next time don’t make claims that cannot be substantiated.

          • It’s not my responsibility to spoon feed you everything, your ignorance is not my problem, but I am flattered that you seek my wisdom.  I’m feeling sorry for you, so here:

            Canadian Parliamentary Review:

            ” In 1993, when the NDP adopted a gender quota of 50%, the Liberal Party followed suit with a 25% quota.”  


            No more argumentation via attrition – I will recognize a maximum of one (1) troll per thread going forward.

          • ” 8 braying hyenas asking me questions and generally stalking and annoying the crap out of me. ”

            if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    • You would think somewhere in all of that he would heve  learned to debate without resorting to losing his temper. 

    • She is also a lawyer.

      ‘Uppity’….hmmm, interesting choice of words.

    • “Uppity”? Could you be more patronizing?

      I have a Ph.D. (in an actual science) from Toronto. I don’t think that allows me to duck questions related to my job, any more than Mr. Oliver’s law degree or MBA (which is a close to a bought degree as anything currently available) allow him that privilege. As a minister of the Crown he has an obligation to answer questions related to his work, and he refused. It was not Ms. Leslie being classless and rude; it was Mr. Oliver.

      • The Harvard MBA program is the best in the world and has an acceptance rate of 12%.  York is basically Carleton, only without the prestige.  

        As mentioned in an earlier comment, the government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases to stop climate change is stated clearly on page 1 of the Environment Canada website and has been reported regularly in the media for the past 6 years.  Her question was profoundly ignorant.

        • Harper is also on record as claiming GW is a socialist scheme.

          Which way has he acted while in office?

        • Ms. Leslie got her law degree from Dalhousie.  George Bush had a Harvard MBA…

        • That’s an appeal to authority. I’m sure Mr. Oliver learned about that fallacy and others when he obtained his law degree.

        • I’m sorry, over the past 6 years or so what exactly has been implemented?

          Committed indeed…

    • So with all those degree’s you would think he could answer a yes or no question. By the way what does having a law or business degree have to do with the environment? other than knowing how to circumvent certain rules and regulations that is.

    • I’m guessing it was the law degree that taught him how to evade questions and equivocate like a pro.

    • So why didn’t he learn anything?

  9. The tarsands are 1/10,000 of the world’s hydrocarbons produced on earth, That’s huge! Canada is less than 1/20,000th of the population of the earth, and this is just one project on our soil. Why does he think this is a good number to quote?!

    • You’re just making numbers up. Canada’s population is 34 million, out of a global population of approximately 7 billion, or about 0.5%. That’s 1 in 200 people on Earth that are Canadian.

  10. As long as the jobs in Canada are for Canadians.  And the job creation does not take away from an economy and existing jobs already in place. 

  11. seems like a fairly simple question to answer… I doubt you need any of the many post nominals on display to answer this one… 

  12. Circa 1986:

    Attention Scientists

    Professional seminar:

    “Climate Change; a global catastrophe or an exciting new research
    opportunity ?

    Buffet to follow.

    • Warren or Jimmy?

  13. If the oil sands are developed, it will destroy the First Nations’ ways of life. Does that sound “safe”? Mr. Oliver, where is your conscience? In your wallet alongside your Ethical Oil Dollars??? The Conservative government has become an embarrassment to Canada.

  14. Oh, and for future reference, Doug and Emily, Joe Oliver is Jewish.  If you think that makes him a privileged white guy, try running that idea past someone who lost family in the Holocaust for being “non-Aryan”.
    McGill had Jewish quotas up to 1940, the year Joe Oliver was born – the bad kind of quota, not the Megan Leslie type of quota – and was one of the few place in the world outside the Third Reich that did so at that time.  

    1940 was also the year Pierre Trudeau rode around Montreal on his bike wearing a Wermacht uniform and doing the Nazi salute, which was pretty standard stuff for French Canadians at the time.

    He attended arguably the most anti-Semitic university in the world outside Hilter’s realm, and you suggest he’s a privileged white guy.

    I’m used to you two being wrong about everything all the time, but this must set some kind of record.  

  15. It would be nice if GHG emissions from oilsands had declined by 30% in the last 12 years, but it’s a lie.  Between 1990 and 2009, greenhouse gas emissions from oilsands increased from 16.9 to 41.9 MT, an increase of almost 150% and 1/4 of all of Canada’s increases in greenhouse gas emissions during that period.  And this isn’t from “radicals” who are intent on destroying Canada according to Harper and Oliver.  It’s from the Alberta Government:

    Isn’t lying to Parliament prohibited, because it constitutes misleading Parliament and is considered contempt of Parliament?  The Harper Government is truly incapable of feeling shame, and their contempt for honesty is almost breathtaking.

  16. We need a Save Energy First Action Plan! (Win Win Win)
    Federal Conservatives axe popular energy-saving program???
    An early end to ecoENERGY grants program closed two months ahead of schedule,
    with an estimated less than 1/2 of the $400 Million set aside in Budget
    2011 used. We need to Save Energy First!

    Energy efficiency should
    be the first item on Canada’s energy agenda. Canada is about to spend
    billions on new oil sands projects, pipelines, nuclear and fossil-fuel
    power stations, hydroelectric dams, solar projects, and wind farms. But
    as we prepare to generate more energy, it makes sense to save energy

    We need to get serious about energy efficiency. The global
    economy is struggling and governments want to create jobs. This is a
    huge opportunity for Canadian governments to help Canadian families save
    energy. Making our homes more energy-efficient creates jobs in all