Funny how so many on the NdP team like to hold our feet to the fire for delaying an election, for abstaining from so many votes. I too have been troubled at times, but let's not pretend that the Liberal opposition and the NdP are playing the same game.
One group has the responsibility of presenting an alternative for government, of providing Canadians with a better choice. The other squad is happy to make noise, to see incremental, subtle progress, even if it is at the cost of universal daycare or social justice for the First Nations people.
But when it comes to the environment, the NdP is now ragging the puck. By sticking to their contrarian guns and denouncing the Green Shift as tax shift that targets the poor, they've conveniently ignored many elements of Stephane Dion's policy, which dove-tails nicely into his 30-50 plan to deal with childhood poverty. At the same time, Jack Layton is ignoring reality of the economic free market, where in cap and trade, businesses will be downloading its costs onto consumers, both rich and poor.
It isn't that the Green Shift has to be defended, although it certainly is under attack. It is an idea that when presented to Canadians in a concise, straight-forward manner, may help bridge the gulf of scepticism and denial, two elements that Jack and Stephen prefer to deal in...
Hope and action are elements that can overcome major obstacles and overwhelming dilemmas.
The Green Shift is meant to provide both hope and action for a cleaner future.
Our carbon-emitting already has a cost attached, one that is visible in the melting ice caps, that is revealed in illness-causing pollutants, and in the health of our food and water supplies. It is a global problem, but it is also a local issue. The answer can only come from both global and local action.
Stephane Dion's Green Shift is designed to attach a cost to the carbon we use, and to encourage and promote wiser, more ecologically responsible choices.
While other parties choose to deny the urgency and pretend that someone else should fix the problem, Canadians know otherwise. Climate change is not the next generation's problem. It is our reality today.
We as Canadians have always been willing to carry our load, to deal with tough situations straight on, and be leaders at home and abroad.
That's why when the Conservative Government chooses to attack instead of discuss, insult instead of debate, the truth is not served. It is their way. It is not the Liberal way.
When the NDP join the Conservatives and argue that a Cap and Trade policy is the only solution, are they conceding that action on climate change can wait until Stephen Harper sees the light?
Or do they just prefer to ignore the perils of delayed action?
Stephen Harper would prefer you ignore the issue and postpone the responsibility. But just as Canadians made the sacrifices to restore balance to our economy, so too are they concerned about the environment.
If it is really about ideas and urgency, then it is up to all of us to make the choice, to do what we can, little by little, step by step, to fix the problem.
The Green Shift is the first step, a step that promotes action, that rewards change.