Cabinet ministers fanned out across Canada again last week to sell the government’s controversial omnibus budget Bill C-38’s “responsible resources development” and to counter mounting opposition to the 425-page budget bill’s overhaul of environmental regulations. Insiders say their performance could help determine where they land in an anticipated Cabinet shuffle.
Twenty years ago, the nations of the world rushed to Rio with sunny ambitions and plans to create political momentum for a world-wide green economy, to protect the environment and tackle poverty and inequality. Within weeks, it had all started to unravel. Twenty years later another Rio Summit is set to begin but the Canadians who took part last time return in a different political climate. Today, we look at what they hoped for and what we've got.
That's where the Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development officially opens tomorrow. My next two guests were among Canada's key players in Rio in 1992. Elizabeth May is now the member of parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands, and the leader of the Green Party of Canada. She was in our Ottawa studio. And David MacDonald served as chair of the parliamentary committee on the Environment as a Progressive Conservative MP under PM Brian Mulroney. He was also the Lead Parliamentary Advisor for the Canadian delegation at the 1992 Earth Summit. He was in our Toronto studio.
Not one Conservative MP showed up to take Green leader Elizabeth May's open-book test on the contents of Bill C-38 Tuesday morning, and May said she wasn't surprised.
"Why bother to know what's in this act, if reading it and understanding it can get you fired?" May said in an empty room, save for a stack of unopened quizzes, a copy of the bill, and some untouched pitchers of water.
Not a single Conservative MP showed up for an optional exam Tuesday morning.
The test, hosted and presided over by Green party leader Elizabeth May, was designed to test Conservative MP’s knowledge of the government’s new budget bill, C-38, which passed third reading in the House of Commons Monday evening.
For every Conservative MP who showed up could score better than a three out of five on the exam, the Green party promised to plant a tree. But, only one MP – independent Bruce Hyer – showed up to room 263-S in Centre Block Tuesday to take the test. He scored a perfect five out of five.
Volunteers will be asked to fill the void at Sidney’s award-winning aquarium this summer. The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre was forced to cut some staff from its summer programming after losing out on federal grants.
“The centre has been successful during the past two summers in obtaining a $22,000 eployment grant from the federal government,” said Angus Matthews, executive director at Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre.
The aquarium used that cash to subsidize employment of five extra staff – four in interpretive programming – usually post secondary marine biology students.
Green Party leader Elizabeth May will be front and centre Monday as the opposition pulls out all the stops in its bid to alter the much-maligned Conservative omnibus budget bill.
Without official party status and the ability to sit on parliamentary committees, May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, is one of the few MPs who can introduce new substantive amendments during the report stage and with support from the Liberals, she’s planning to put forward upwards of 200 of them.
Maybe I'm starting to sound like a shameless Elizabeth May fanboy but that's only because...I'm a shameless Elizabeth May fanboy! How can you not be when she gets up in the House, as she did Monday, and makes an epic speech like this? The main point of her "point of order" is that the Conservative government's budget bill C-38 isn't fit to be called an omnibus bill
The 22-hour voting marathon in Parliament wasn't a stunt or a delay tactic, but rather a legitimate way to reason with the Harper government to change its omnibus budget bill, the Green party leader says.