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Copps says Martin's "global conscience" a new thing

[PoliticsWatch Updated 6:00 p.m. December 15, 2005]

Former Liberal MP Sheila Copps. 

OTTAWA  — Former Liberal cabinet minister Sheila Copps revealed on television this week that Prime Minister Paul Martin was against the Kyoto protocol before Canada signed on to the accord. 
on CPAC's PrimeTime Politics Wednesday, Copps said Martin, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan were all opposed to Kyoto. 

The revelation comes as a surprise given how aggressive Martin has been on the campaign trail in his criticism of the U.S. for not signing the accord. 

Here's what Copps said on CPAC.

Sheila Copps: "I remember very well when (Chretien) actually endorsed Kyoto, he called me before he went to South Africa because he was getting tremendous push back from the bureaucracy, the department of finance, the former minister of finance (Martin) and all of those attached to the natural resources … including Mr. Goodale and Anne McLellan. (They) were viciously against Kyoto."

According to Copps, there are government documents from Martin's old department out there saying Canada should not join Kyoto.

Copps: "We burned thousands of pounds of paper with briefing notes from the department of Natural Resources and the Department of Finance showing us why we could do nothing because it was an economic disaster."

"As we sit right now we're 24 per cent off the targets that we set. So how can we go to even George Bush and say, 'You don't have an international conscience' when our record on delivering on any kind of greenhouse gas reduction in Kyoto is abysmal."

"On the environment, the Liberals are not on solid ground."

Copps is a Chretien-era cabinet minister who Martin did not name to cabinet when he became PM. She also says she was pushed out of her riding when Tony Valeri, a long-time Martin ally, decided to run for the Liberal nomination in the same riding she was running in. 

Ed is back

Well not Ed Broadbent, but another Ed. 

Former Governor-General Ed Schreyer tossed his hat into the political arena on Thursday announcing he will run for the NDP in the Manitoba riding of Selkirk-Interlake.

Schreyer, 69, is a former Manitoba premier and was once an NDP MP in the 1960s. 

If elected, he would be the first former Governor General to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons.

Making the announcement in Winnipeg with NDP MPs Bill Blaikie and Pat Martin in the background, Schreyer said he was "feeling deeply about a number of issues." 

Schreyer, in a promise similar to that made by Prime Minister Paul Martin in the Liberal leadership campaign, said he wants to limit the power and influence of the PMO over Parliament. 

"I believe for starters that we cannot really get at the main issues in a way that is meaningful until we manage to straighten out and clean up Parliament and Parliamentary control of cabinet and through cabinet control of a Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that is getting out of control and presidential."

The NDP campaign is in need of a boost after the latest SES tracking poll has the party at a disastrous 12 per cent support nationally. 

But the party has not given Schreyer what could be described as an easily winnable riding. 

In the 2004 election, rookie Conservative candidate James Bezan won the riding with an 8,200 vote-margin over the NDP. 

The riding has been won by a conservative party candidate in five of the last six elections. 

The last time the NDP won the riding was in 1979 and 1980 when the NDP's Terry Sargeant prevailed. 

Thank You, PoliticsWatch Archives

From our Archives

Martin denies Liberals writing off Quebec
by Romeo St. Martin

[PoliticsWatch Updated 2:00 p.m. August 25, 2005]

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Paul Martin strongly denied newspaper reports Thursday suggesting a closed door meeting of the Liberal caucus on election-readiness was told the party's strategy would be writing off gaining seats in Quebec and focusing on Ontario and Western Canada. 

"I don't know who said that or where that came from, but let me tell you that in no way reflected anything that was said in that caucus," Martin said at a news conference closing out the Liberal caucus retreat in Regina. 

"At no time did anybody in that caucus say we can win a majority without doing very well in Quebec."

According to stories in the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail that were published Thursday morning, David Herle, co-chair of the Liberal election campaign, held a strategy session with the Liberal caucus on Wednesday in which he suggested a risky strategy focusing on gaining seats in Western Canada and Ontario.

But Martin denied that and said that he, Herle, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Lucienne Robillard and his Quebec Lieutenant, Jean Lapierre, have had "countless" meetings about winning more seats in Quebec. 

"It's exactly the contrary. We need Quebec, we intend to win in Quebec and we will work very hard to increase the number of members we will be electing in Quebec."

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Liberals red-faced over Quebec memo

By Daniel Leblanc
Thursday, December 15, 2005 - Page A6

OTTAWA -- The Quebec wing of the Liberal Party accidentally released a list of ridings yesterday that shows it has written off a majority of seats in the province and conceded almost all of the francophone areas to the Bloc Québécois.

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