I was among the few Canadians to have my question on global warming answered by the Prime Minister, and I would like to share my thoughts.

On the issue of Global Warming Canada has been shown to be lacking on all the fronts that Stephen Harper mentioned.

  • ¬†Internationally we are known for reneging on our Kyoto protocol agreements and obstructing climate change negotiations.
  • Continentally the Harper Government has abdicated all responsibility for addressing climate change and relied on a dysfunctional US political system to ensure that nothing is done.
  • Nationally the Harper Government has let oil sands interests drive policy. He is gutting environmental regulations and supporting the expansion oil sands pipelines and an oil tanker port on our pacific coast. We continue to see our heat trapping carbon emissions rise and none of the measures that Harper mentioned will counter this.

Our status as an “emerging energy superpower” could give us increased clout on the international stage. Combined with Canada’s historical moral authority our influence could contribute positively to addressing Global Warming. Sadly our government has chosen to do the opposite.

Harper’s stock answers on every issue left me with no confidence that he is willing to genuinely engage with the publics concerns. On the contrary, combined with his government’s avoidance of the media, the YouTube Q&A seems calculated to give the impression of accessibility without the inconvenience of pesky follow up questions you could expect in a real town hall. His communication style says little more than “go back to sleep, this issue is too complicated for you, we’re dealing with it.”

While I support the concept of unmediated access to our political leaders the staged and scripted nature of Harper’s responses made his YouTube experiment a failure. I hope Canadians were not fooled.