running to stand still

Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggests his party is now pushing a green agenda. This is a nice sentiment.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggests his party is now pushing a green agenda.

This is a nice sentiment.

His government’s former tack was disturbing.

Just six weeks after being elected, Harper’s government put $1.8 billion in federal subsidies to renewable power projects on hold.

A Conservative government directive threatened a federal scientist with firing if he proceeded to launch his novel on climate change at the national press club — its message ran counter to the government’s agenda.

And the Conservatives promised to improve air quality in Canada over the next 50 years — hardly an inspired goal.

And then the weather turned ugly around the planet, and the public hit a tipping point.

Collectively, people are growing uneasy. They sense something is not right with the planet.

That unease prompted Harper to recast his government — he wants to convince people he can simultaneously protect the environment as well as the oil industry. After all, the Conservative power base sits firmly in Alberta.

So, last week, there were a series of tepid announcements.

Harper’s team pledged millions to wind-ravaged Stanley Park in Vancouver and it announced 1.8 billion in federal energy initiatives — essentially restoring Liberal programs that it abandoned six weeks after being elected.

That is, Harper’s minority government is running to stand still.

That’s not good enough.

Progress suggests advancement in something. That still hasn’t happened.

When it comes to climate change, Canada has to do more. The public demands it.

Apparently Harper got the message. But we’re still waiting for action. (RM)