Okay, this is trickier than liveblogging a speech; we’re huddled outside the conference room—about a half dozen reporters, plus camera crew—and Layton just finished a recap of his feelings on the carbon tax (he’s not a fan, still) and has now moved onto Ian Brodie.
He thinks the report should be released as soon as possible, and he’s entirely displeased at the thought of yet another Mike Harris refugee washing up on the shores of Parliament Hill. He—Harris, that is—did terrible things to Ontario, and women, and children, and possibly puppies!
Back to Brodie, and this time, in English: the NDP wants the report on the leak to come out now; names should be named, and consequences… quantified. Or qualified.
A tricky question on carbon taxes vs. polluter pay/cap and trade: won’t it just increase costs for consumers? No; no, it won’t. Not if money goes into green solutions—and if the big polluters actually pay. Some of the costs may trickle down, he allows, but these are companies making “superprofits,” what with the price of gas, so their “superprofiteering” should help them pay the increased costs.
And… back to ObamaNAFTAThingIWon’tCallGateAndYouCan’tMakeMe. Did it damage Canada-US relations? Well, it didn’t help—but Layton isn’t willing to tie Brodie’s departure directly to the leak as yet. It’s just all very curious.
How does he react to the criticism from David Suzuki, who backs the idea of a carbon tax? Wisely, Layton doesn’t make the mistake of attacking Canada’s Little Green Giant of Environmentalism; he points to the various measures that the NDP has brought in over the last session, in private members’ bill form, and takes on the PM’s comments about gas prices, and how government can’t really do anything about it. “He’s done nothing to stop the subsidization of these gougers,” he fumes.
Last question: Does Layton believe that any climate change plan ought not to cause economic pain for Canadians? Well, climate change is already causing pain, he points out—look at the forestry sector. But the pain should first be felt by the corporate polluters. The so-called revenue neutral approach, he notes, would leave no money for any solutions. It’s shuffling the deck chairs.
And that’s it! My first liveblogged scrum. I think this BlackBerry is going to work out just fine.