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Quick Hits, Volume XXV

Some of these "quick hits" are more like "half blogs". Anyway... Kyoto, Greenbelt, SSM, and more below...

Paul Martin took some heat yesterday over his lack of a plan for Kyoto. Stephen Harper was exactly right in this comment, as summarized by the Globe and Mail:

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper reminded Mr. Martin that "for eight years, the Prime Minister has been saying that the Kyoto accord is one of his top priorities." Instead of producing an implementation plan for Kyoto, Mr. Harper said, the government is announcing a new conference "and moving on to the next photo op."

As was NDP House Leader Bill Blaikie:

"We need a plan. We need something that we can judge. After all these years of dithering, when are we going to get a plan?" Mr. Blaikie asked.

The Liberals did claim they are close to a "voluntary agreement" with the auto industry. How impressive.

There is a better solution, of course. Rather than plans too complicated for the government to invent, or voluntary agreements that won't do much (and that reward favoured industries), there is a much easier approach -- apply the power of the marketplace by using prices to do our work for us.

Normally, this would be a situation where I'd be able to join the Conservatives and say, let's use the marketplace to solve the problem. But, unfortunately, Conservatives don't generally agree with me that the problem exists, or is worth fixing. Oh well. At least we have the Green Party

(A more complicated, but slightly more politically-viable plan than mine, is the one Declan posted in January.)

If you have access to the columnists on the Globe and Mail website -- or if you know the Google trick for getting in -- today's Murray Campbell column presents an interesting dynamic.

Just as the federal Liberals want to make greenhouse gases disappear without any effort or real change, the Ontario Liberals seem to want to eliminate sprawl in the same way. As Campbell writes:

[Ontario Public Infrastructure Minister David] Caplan denies that his plan spells an end to the suburban dream where everyone gets a three-car garage and big backyard. But why deny it? Those days have to end if the Greater Golden Horseshoe is to survive its own success.

The Globe and Mail describes the Conservatives' attack on same-sex marriage as a three-pronged one:

  • The Liberals have a history of intolerance from the 1940s
  • Somehow same-sex marriage is an attack on religious freedoms because (some) religions oppose it
  • Somehow same-sex marriage is an attack on the cultural values of minorities because (some) minority groups' traditions oppose it

This is too lame to be believed.

John Tory is right to call for "reform to federal-provincial-municipal finances". It almost makes me curious to see if he could do a better job than McGuinty. Some things, however, are much more easily said than done. I want to see Tory's plan before I decide whether or not to get behind it.

John Sewell today writes about why it is a dumb idea to close the only jail in Toronto.

And John Barber chides Toronto City Hall for being so slow in having our Tourism Action Plan include a strategy for making Toronto a destination for gay tourism.



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