Sure, at times he seems a like an opportunistic weasel and he's allowed a lot more slack and prestige than he would be if his name wasn't "Trudeau," but for calling Peter Kent, the federal minister of finance a "piece of shit" in the House of Commons today, Justin Trudeau has earned a little bit more of my respect.
Kent had just finished chiding the NDP environment critic Megan Leslie, for not having been in attendance at a climate change conference in Durban, South Africa.
"Had you been in Durban..." minister Kent had began.
The problem of course, was that the Conservatives didn't invite opposition MPs to the conference.
Essentially, flexing their majority muscle, Harper's Conservatives decided they needn't foot the bill to have dissenting voices along at the conference, so they simply weren't in attendance.
So when the environment minister wagged that fact in MP Leslie's face, Trudeau exclaimed "Oh, you piece of shit!"
Since Question Period, Trudeau has, of course, offered all due apologies, noting that his actions were "unparliamentarian" and saying he "lost his cool."
But let's face facts: Peter Kent kind of is a piece of shit.
On Monday, for example, Kent formally announced that Canada will withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, saying the accord "does not represent a way forward for Canada," and that we would face crippling fines for failing to meet our targets.
Translation: because we don't want to be on the hook for the penalties we would be forced to pay under the rules of the Kyoto Protocol, we're just ducking out of the thing altogether. Like finding out we lost a bet, but couldn't afford to pay up so we just never did.
That sounds like a piece of shit move to me.
Canada was supposed to have cut emissions by 6% this year based on our 1990 levels, but instead emissions have risen by around a third.
What this means is that Canada would have had to fork over about $14 billion dollars. An amount far too much, says Mr. Kent, for us to be stuck with. The only option, he says, is for us to bow out of the protocol.
Well...there was the option of...actually doing what we said we would do when we signed the Kyoto protocol, but that would have just been silly, of course.
Basically, under Kent, Canada's reputation on the environment has continued to be a joke; the object of
international ridicule and recent scorn from other countries.
Under this environment minister, Canada has pulled out of a mulitnational agreement on improving the environment because we did a really, really shitty job at curbing emissions and, instead, we've been increasingly developing the tar sands. The Harper government bowed out of Kyoto and, instead, continues to express interest in "stepped-up exploitation of the tars sands," despite the fact that critics "have argued that the carbon footprint associated with such an expansion would permanently cripple global efforts to get global warming under control."
I gotta tell you, these kind of sound like the actions of a piece of shit to me.
So Justin, while I'm not chomping at the bit to throw a vote your way when you inevitably (oh come on, you know he will) make a run to lead the Federal Liberal party, today you get a little bit of support from me for telling it like it is in the house of commons.