Volume 96, Issue 19
Tuesday October 1, 2002

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Feds: it ain't easy being green

By Tait Simpson
Gazette Staff

Environment Minister David Anderson has made an art form out of answering questions about the federal government's position on the Kyoto Protocol. Friday afternoon in the Social Science Building was no different.

Presented by the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, the day-long seminar entitled "Climate Change and Kyoto" was highlighted by the Liberal environment minister's appearance. Anderson devoted the body of his remarks towards refuting arguments made by others against Kyoto.

"Anyone who says that the federal government doesn't have a plan on how to implement the emission control of Kyoto hasn't read our literature," Anderson said.

Anderson expressed disappointment that the business community and some provinces insist ratifying the accord will damage the economy and create heavy job losses.

"We currently have a growth rate of twice that of the U.S. and western European countries, so even if our growth were to slow down, we could get by," Anderson said.

"Anderson's praising of Canada was amusing, but it's unfortunate that he didn't discuss any of the real political or economic issues facing the environmental movement," said David Ford, a fourth-year political science student.

First-year medical student Reem Nassur said she was hoping to hear more about the health affects associated with a reduction in air quality control.

"I wish they'd address the medical implications that the current level of carbon emissions are causing," Nassur said.

Despite the disappointment of some students, Anderson left the audience feeling positive about our cleaner future.

"Canada is only two per cent of the problem, but we're affected by the other 98 per cent. Developing countries can't be asked to sign Kyoto despite the American insistence that they do. They've got larger problems like starvation, but I'm confident that if we pass Kyoto, they'll be willing to come on board in the future," Anderson said.

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2002 THE GAZETTE