Too cute by half


An exchange from Question Period yesterday.

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ): Mr. Speaker, by telling us this morning that Canada has to wait longer still to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, the minister for big oil is showing once again that the environment is not a priority for this government. Instead of stepping up efforts to get an agreement on strict reduction targets, he is instead working on derailing the Copenhagen summit and prefers to conduct his business without any regard for the consequences. Does the Prime Minister realize that his approach, which pits the economy against the environment, is viewed as disastrous by the experts?

Hon. Jay Hill (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I have said before in this chamber, there is no minister for big oil in this government. Therefore, there will not be any minister responding to that silly question.

Ms. Paule Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, BQ): Mr. Speaker, there is not just one minister for big oil, there are several.

The government subsequently refused to acknowledge Ms. Brunelle’s second question. Likewise, the government declined to respond later when the Bloc’s Michel Guimond directed at a question at the “minister of patronage” (Christian Paradis, apparently). That exchange after the jump.

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Senator Housakos is very influential. In addition to looking after Conservative Party financing, he is involved in awarding contracts. Several members of his gang have been appointed to government positions. One has gone to the Employment Insurance Board of Referees, a second to VIA Rail and a third to Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated. Will the Minister of Public Works, who is minister of patronage, see to it that the Housakos network stops being rewarded?

Hon. Christian Paradis (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Bloc may not like it, but appointments are based on merit. If the Bloc members want to make allegations that we broke the law, let them do so outside the House. For three or four weeks, they have been insinuating all sorts of things and wasting the House’s time.

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the minister of patronage recognized himself, because he stood up. Serge Martel, a buddy of Senator Housakos’ who was named to the board of directors of Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated, admits that he made a mistake when he attended a cocktail fundraiser for the Conservative Party organized by Senator Housakos. Does the minister of patronage still find this situation acceptable, when Serge Martel himself acknowledges that he made a mistake?

The Speaker: The hon.—

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

The Speaker: The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour has the floor. Order, please.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

The Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour has the floor.


Too cute by half

  1. Are the BQ's questions translated text?

  2. " Does the Prime Minister realize that his approach, which pits the economy against the environment, is viewed as disastrous by the experts?"

    Would these 'experts' also be environmentalists whose jobs are dependent on convincing government that world is coming to an end soon if we don't completely revamp our way of life?

    Why do some people only question the motives of scientists in the employ of 'big oil'? Do they think scientists who push global warming theories don't work for anyone and have no agendas of their own.

      • No, environmentalism is actually a lucrative bussiness. Green technology, green consulting, environmental science grants.

        Ask Al Gore how much money has has made off his crusade. Ask Suzuki if he enjoys being famous.

        Ask a typical climate change scientist whether anyone would fund them or pay attention to them if they weren't predicting doom and gloom scenarios. Probably not.

        • Sure, popularizers make money, but your average climatologist won't see a dime of that. They get money based on the merits of their research and their reputation. Both of those rely directly on the scientific merits of their proposal and their past record of scientific rigor in publications, along with the novelty of both their current proposal and publications.

          Right now, there's nothing less novel than finding or proposing research that confirms global warming. Put simply, it's boring. Anything that runs contrary to an AGW prespective, while highly scrutinized, would be the easiest way for a climatologist to make a name for his or herself, making it more likely to get funding – especially from the federal government which is currently run by those who would love it if AGW claims went away. However, such ideas still need to stand up to that scrutiny – proposing something contrarian gets you a name, but if the claims can be easily debunked, that name turns to dirt and it becomes that much harder to get research funding.

          Don't listen to Al Gore, listen to the experts. They're not famous, they're not even known outside their field for the most part. But they would be if they could find some real, contradictory evidence against AGW – if it existed.

          • I'd first like to see some actual evidence of global warming since there has been no temperature increase since 1994!

            And during the time period when the earth actually did warm by half a degree during the 20th century melting has been observed on frozen gas moons in the solar system, leading some to re-evaluate the effect of solar output.

            And the average climatologist isn't going to get funding for anything contrary to AGW – gov'ts would be ridiculed for funding any research that doesn't support AGW and big bussiness is tripping over itself to be the most GREEN.

            PS – who is scrutinizing the work? Oh, other climatoligists with similiar bias!

          • Right now, there's nothing less novel than finding or proposing research that confirms global warming. Put simply, it's boring.

            You are a pro dude. This statement is classic propaganda. This is akin to saying no further research monies will go to proving the earth is flat because it is self evidently true. Global warming is a very shaky theory, Climate change is very similar to those inexplicable cycles of light and dark we experience every 24 hours…a natural cycle.

            As to your assertion about "experts", I highly recommend "Trust us, We're Experts" by Rampton and Stauber, while I disagree with their philosophy their analysis is fairly bang on. They used to have a web site prwatch.org, don't know if it's still there.

    • Entirely plausible, but it still doesn't justify continuing to be part of the problem (contributing C02 emissions and consuming massive amounts of energy per capita) with no regard for finding more environmentally conscious ways of living.

      I posit that we pick on big oil because it's a huge moneymaker, and working on environmental research (from the science end, not the product end) is perceived to be less…monetarily rewarding. Sociologically speaking, this makes the environment the underdog, and there's some deep-seated affinity for underdogs in our collective consciousness.

      Or, maybe we associate that Hexxus character from Fern Gully with big oil…

    • Nice try. Many of them have tenured positions at universities, and are thus quite independent.

      • And independence means zero accountability.

      • In about one minute of googling, I have found stories about how Zurich Financial, Swiss Re, Rockefeller Foundation, Greenpeace and Sierra Club all fund global warming hysteria. Independent profs working at universities with absolutely no agendas might sound plausible to you but it does not match reality.

  3. Just who is being too cute by half? I don't find the underlying assumption of the BQ quesion to be very productive to national unity. Ask someone from NL what they think.

  4. I'm no fan of how the tar sands are being managed and how too much economic freedom enjoyed by the oil companies is going to drag down Alberta and Canada in the long run. However, the opposition's condescending view of "Big Oil" is not helping their cause one bit.

    • I would be surprised if you actually knew how the oilsands is being managed.

      And Quebec sure didn't complain when Big Oil Alberta paid out $116 Billion into equalization over the last 10 years,
      billions Quebec received.

  5. Whatever. The Bloc can't be taken seriously on 75% of the positions they take. The English media pays too much attention to them.

  6. It's a well known fact that Quebecers stopped burning fossil fuel years ago … er … or they will as soon as they become independent.

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