|12-15-2007, 02:11 PM||#1|
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Canada drifted closer to Bush administration in 2007: Green Party
By Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA - Green Party Leader Elizabeth May calls 2007 the "Year of Bush," saying the federal government drifted away from traditional Canadian values internationally and moved closer to those of George Bush's administration in Washington.
May delivered her year-end review Friday, just as key UN climate-change talks were on the verge of wrapping up in Bali, Indonesia. She called Canada's role at the negotiations there one of a "saboteur."
"We're not measuring Canada's performance on the climate file as against some politically stated objective, we're up against real limits, and those limits are in the atmosphere, they're determined by scientists...," May told reporters.
"Canada's current plan is not only irresponsible and dangerous, future generations may well find it criminal."
The Canadian government has blocked efforts at the talks to have developed countries agree to reduce their carbon emissions by 25-to-40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. Officials have said such a reduction would be much too steep for Canada, which did very little to cut greenhouse gases over the past 10 years.
The government has said it will reduce Canada's emissions by 20 per cent below 2006 levels by 2020.
May touched on other foreign affairs issues that have erupted over the past year on Parliament Hill, including Canada's change of stance on the death penalty abroad. Last month, the Conservatives revealed that they would no longer seek clemency for Canadian citizens on death row in democratic countries.
That includes an Alberta man facing lethal injection for a double murder in Montana.
The government also withdrew its name as a sponsor of a UN motion calling for a global moratorium on the death penalty, although Canada will still vote in favour of the idea.
"We've left a Canadian citizen without any recourse to the usual appeals for clemency that have traditionally come from a Canadian government that stood against capital punishment as a barbaric act of murder by the state," May said.
May also took issue with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's pursuit of a trade deal with Colombia, pointing out that it still has one of the worst human-rights records in the world. Members of the Colombian government have been found to have colluded with deadly para-military groups and trade unionists are still being killed monthly.
She said the free-trade pact was another example of following the Bush administration's lead.
Harper has said that isolating countries such as Colombia that are trying to fix their problems is not productive and that the government deserves support.
May also criticized the government's decision to join the United States in promoting nuclear power though the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.
"Canada has signed on to it without any consultations in the House of Commons, without any public consultation."
Polls have suggested Green support has grown in recent months and May expressed confidence that her party will send members to the House of Commons if there's an election next year.