On Monday, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson presented the first Speech from the Throne on behalf of newly-annointed Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin. Among the hilights, Clarkson announced that Martin’s government, along with pledging to conduct more free votes in House of Commons, promised to appoint a new independent ethics commissioner. In an attempt to shore up the Liberal vote in Canada’s major centres, Martin also promised billions more in funding for urban municipalities across the country.
Martin was long on promises but short on specifics, pledging more millions towards various social programs, the military, healthcare, aboriginals, and naturally, the environment (pun intended). On top of committing $3.5 billion towards cleaning up cess pools nationwide over the next 10 years, including another $500 million for the cleanup of sites such as the Sydney Tar Ponds, the Martin government also renewed their vow to implement the Kyoto Protocol in full. So much for addressing western alienation…
Kyoto here to stay
New Prime Minister Paul Martin reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to Kyoto protocols in yesterday’s throne speech. The speech also promised better funding to help commercialize technology, and support to develop foreign export markets to lessen dependence on the U.S.
“The government of Canada will respect its commitments to the Kyoto accord on climate change in a way that produces long-term and enduring results while maintaining a strong and growing economy,” Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson read from the speech.
“It will do so by developing an equitable national plan, in partnership with provincial and territorial governments and other stakeholders.
“We have begun and we will persevere. And we will go beyond Kyoto to strengthen our environmental stewardship.”
Alberta and the nation’s big energy producers have previously expressed concern that Kyoto ratification will make Canada less competitive, a move that could hamper development and hinder job creation.