Yesterday in the Canadian House of Commons, opposition parties passed Bill C-288 which instructs the minority government led by Conservative Prime Minister to develop a climate change plan in the next 60 days that will meet the country’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. Under the bill, if the government fails to do this any Canadian citizen or pressure group can take the government to court.
This is a unique occurrence in Canada’s parliamentary system, since it generally difficult for opposition parties to pass legislation. The bill still has to pass the Senate, but there is a clear Liberal majority in there which will likely approve the measure.
This comes at a time when Harper’s government has been gutting the government’s Clean Development Mechanism office which coordinates Canadian funding of offset programs in the developing world as part of the Kyoto agreement.
It will be interesting to see if this is the beginning of the end for Harper’s government and if the Liberals will use climate change as the vehicle for taking back control.