You may as well go ahead and get fitted for your government jumpsuit now, comrade, because talk like this forebodes further nationalization of large swathes of the economy.
Flashback: Jim Prentice: Implement A ‘North American Climate Change Regime’ | Climate Cops To Fine “Wasteful” Homeowners & Businesses | Obama targets US public with call for climate action | Obama to stake reputation on fast-tracked climate bill | Ontario unveils cap-and-trade legislation | NRTEE Carbon Market Panel is ‘Round Table on Socialist Planning’ | Climate panel presses for federal cap-and-trade system | U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy | U.N. Environment Head Wants Global Warming Tax | US Congress passes mandatory national service bill | Time to emulate Roosevelt’s New Deal and create green jobs | Terence Corcoran: Ontario’s green energy plan sneaks in feed-in taxes | New World Order Crony Gary Hart Calls for “Civic Duty” | US Democrats Introduce Public National Service Bills | Justin Trudeau introduces National Voluntary Service motion | Ontario joins continental WCI cap-and-trade scheme | B.C. carbon tax kicks in on Canada Day | They call it cap and trade, but it’s just another fuel tax | Quebec, Ontario sign historic climate pact | Every adult in Britain should be forced to carry ‘carbon ration cards’, say MPs | CEOs call for ‘aggressive’ action on climate change
The Canadian Press
January 18, 2010
Barack Obama’s envoy to Ottawa says “green jobs” are the key to long-term economic recovery in both the United States and Canada.
Ambassador David Jacobson told The Canadian Press he expects eventual progress towards harmonized environmental and energy policy between Canada and the U.S., but hurdles still remain to getting climate legislation through the U.S. Congress.
“As the president has said, that is a jobs bill,” Jacobson said. “One of the reasons he wants to focus on climate change is because the green jobs that are created in that process are going to be critical to the long-term strength of our economy, and I think the same applies in Canada.”
Jacobson flagged climate and energy issues, balancing trade, stopping terrorism on the border and the need to make progress in Afghanistan before 2011 as key issues facing Canada and the United States.
Jacobson said that despite the recent foiled al-Qaeda attempt on Christmas Day to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger airliner, the $1.7-billion-a-day flow of trade across the 49th parallel does not have to be adversely affected by security concerns.
He urged Canadians to sign up in greater numbers for the Nexus program, which issues travel cards that allow frequent and low-risk travellers to get fast-lane treatment at airports and at land crossings. Nexus has been touted as a tool for frequent business travellers, but Jacobson said, “anyone who crosses the border more than a couple of times a year ought to seriously consider it.” [Ed. Note: If you want your irises scanned and held in a bilateral government database, you go right ahead.]
On Afghanistan, Jacobson deflected discussion of whether Obama would ask Canada to maintain its military mission in Kandahar past the 2011 withdrawal deadline.
“We are just not focused on it,” the envoy said, when pressed on whether the U.S. administration would take such a request entirely off the table.
“Our focus is not on what happens after 2011. Our focus is how can we utilize the Canadian resources, the Canadian troops, in working with American troops, in the most effective way we possibly can in 2010 and into 2011. And let’s wait to see how events unfold on the ground and decide what best use we can make of Canadian forces during that period and after that period.”
Referring to James Jones, Obama’s national security adviser, Jacobson added: “As Gen. Jones said not too long ago, of course we want as many soldiers from as many places as we can possibly get, that goes without saying.”
Jacobson is a 57-year-old Chicago lawyer, who was a top fundraiser for Obama’s presidential bid. He reportedly lobbied hard for the Canadian job and since taking up his duties last summer, has travelled widely across the country.
His appointment has been applauded by business groups, who see him as savvy and intelligent and possessing perhaps the most desirable trait for American envoys to Canada: he has the ear of his president.
While the Harper government has faced international condemnation over its environmental policies, particularly at last month’s global climate change summit at Copenhagen, Jacobson made clear that Washington is keen to pursue a common approach with Ottawa on the subject.
When Obama visited Ottawa 11 months ago, the president and Prime Minister Stephen Harper opened a clean energy dialogue. Since then, Jacobson said, there have been many followup discussions with officials from both countries. He has taken part in some of them himself.
Critics have accused Harper of slavishly awaiting the outcome of U.S. policy decisions on energy and the environment before deciding what Canada will do.
Jacobson said further progress is predicated on first getting legislation through Congress.
“When they start focusing on this, you may see more back-and-forth between the United States and Canada. But from our perspective, the United States perspective, we’ve got to decide exactly what our energy and environmental policy is going to be and then there will be an effort to try to harmonize the whole thing.”
Last September, Harper told business leaders in New York that Canada was keen to harmonize efforts with the U.S. to reduce emissions and develop a cap-and-trade system for carbon.
Jacobson praised Canada-U.S. co-operation in preventing a major terror attack in North America. But he remained optimistic that the increased security will not compromise trade efforts.
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