Kyoto, the veil and guns... Canada shifts to the right
The announcement by the Conservative government in Ottawa this week that it is withdrawing from the Kyoto Treaty on global emissions has triggered fresh charges that Canada, once seen as a force for social liberalism and environmental responsibility, is on an accelerating train to the political right.
"Next may be a woman's right to choose, or gay marriage," the former prime minister and Liberal leader Jean Chrétien warned in an email to supporters. "Then might come capital punishment. And one by one, the values we cherish as Canadians will be gone."
Since winning re-election with his first defendable majority in the national parliament in May, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has enacted a range of right-of-centre initiatives overriding opposition objections. This week, his government also announced a ban on female Muslims wearing face veils when taking the oath of allegiance to win citizenship. Equally controversial have been steps significantly to ease national gun controls.
The political risks for Mr Harper seem small, however. Both the main national opposition parties – the Liberals and the NDP – are functioning without permanent leaders and recent polls show wide support for his policies even though that is more true of the western provinces than it is of Quebec. A new survey published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy found that nearly two-thirds of Canadians think their country is on the "right track".
The retreat from the 2005 Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding document on global emissions, will compound the despair of environmentalists who already see the rapid exploitation of Canada's tar sands resources as a betrayal of its once-proud ecological record. "Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past," Peter Kent, the minister for the environment, told parliament on Monday. "It's really only the Europeans who are staying with Kyoto.
"The Harper government's decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol tarnishes Canada before the world," John Ibbitson of The Globe and Mail lamented.
Elizabeth May, the leader of the Canadian Greens, said: "This is not just big, this is disastrous for Canada."
The decision came the day after the international community agreed a compromise solution in Durban, South Africa, to impose cuts on emissions that all the big polluters in theory will adhere to.
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An External Relations Executive is requi...