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Charest should walk the climate walk Add to ...

Jean Charest is apparently criticizing the federal government over its commitment to climate change. This has become an annual ritual by the government of Quebec when Canada attends international environmental conferences. While Premier Charest and his government are most certainly entitled to their views their argumentation rings hollow given the blocking posture they have taken when it comes to world-class hydro developments outside their borders.

Quebec has been extremely voluble in criticizing the federal government's public-private partnership agency for even considering funding elements of the current Lower Churchill hydro development at Muskrat Falls. This comes on the heels of Quebec's energy regulator blocking Newfoundland and Labrador's efforts to secure transmission access through Quebec.

The development of the Muskrat Falls component of the Lower Churchill project will see the reduction of 96 million tones of carbon emissions by 2065. Also when fully operational Newfoundland and Labrador will be consuming 98 per cent renewable, emission-free energy. Impressive domestic numbers and they'd be easier to achieve if the government of Quebec stopped trying to put up road blocks.

I do believe that Jean Charest is committed to enhancing our national performance on greenhouse gas emissions. But the criticism of the federal government's performance might carry more weight if his own government's behaviour was less hypocritical. If Quebec were working with the Atlantic provinces as opposed to against them on regional hydro development we'd be a lot closer as a nation to putting a real dent into our emissions targets.

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