Yesterday, the United States unveiled its carbon reduction target, which turned out to be " almost identical" to Canada's. President Barack Obama will put the long-awaited numbers on the table at the beginning of the Copenhagen conference, hoping to provoke China and India to come forward with targets that are the sine qua non of Senate ratification of an international treaty - perhaps as early as next year.
Also yesterday, according to a report in La Presse, Bloc Québécois environment critic Bernard Bigras wrote to the Executive Secretary of the UN process, Yvo De Boer.
In his letter, Mr. Bigras informed Mr. De Boer - who yesterday applauded President Obama's announcement - that "Canada's position does not reflect the will of the large majority of Quebeckers hoping for more stringent measures." Moreover, Mr. Bigras added, "Canada's position does not correspond to the will of federal MPs who demanded, by a majority vote in the House of Commons, that Canada take a positive position at Copenhagen."
It goes without saying that Quebeckers have the right to elect whomever they want to the House of Commons. However, Canadians should have no illusions that the Bloc Québécois is in the business of pursuing the interests of Québec and only of Québec. Or that its ultimate objective is to break up our country by heightening the contradictions between Québec and Canada.
President Obama's lightning visit to Copenhagen will open the door to intensive negotiations that will have a profound effect on all Canadians. That's something that Liberal and NDP MPs prone to support BQ motions should keep in mind over the coming months.
(Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail)