Canadian Environment Minister Baird Has a Case of the Bali Bumbles

It seems that Canada's Environment Minister John Baird is trying his best to live up to his critics' expectations at the United Nation's climate summit underway in Bali, Indonesia.

But it hasn't only been the Minister's unpalatable climate policies that are embarrassing his country on the world stage.

The Minister's bumbling and fumbling as a diplomat is also garnering a lot of chuckles.

It's like a blooper roll in real time.

The list so far:

Party Crasher

On the evening of Baird's first day at the Bali conference, the Minister took the opportunity to crash a reception being hosted by international environmental organizations. While sipping on a pint, Baird proceeded to berate environmentalists as the real cause of Canada's rising greenhouse gas emissions and overall poor record on fighting climate change.

One party-goer rightly pointed out to the Minister that, “… he was indeed the Minister and that his government might perhaps have a teeny bit of responsibility for whether Canada actually steps up to the plate and sets strong absolute emissions reductions targets and protects Canada's heritage.”

Paparazzi Police

The next day at a media meet and greet for reporters a political staffer asked a photographer not to snap any pictures of Environment Minister John Baird. They were worried about the optics of a picture with palm trees in the background that might suggest a vacation getaway.

Talking Points Memo

Canwest Global journalist, Mike de Souza, who is in Bali this week was invited by the government of France to attend a comprehensive briefing by with their national media that lasted more than an hour. The reporters had the chance to talk about negotiations behind the scenes with the negotiators themselves.

And what was this top Canadian journalist offered by his own government?

Canada's government offered reporters a list of “talking points” in an email that was sent by a spin doctor who was sent to Bali from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office.

Au Revoir

And finally, at a big dinner reception organized by the Canadian delegation to present its climate change plan to the world, Minister Baird walked out on his own speech in front of the packed house.

According to de Souza, “[a] government spokesperson later said Baird left because he urgently needed to meet with Canadian negotiators.”

Right. I wonder if that was included in the PMO spin doctor's talking points?


Wow, Baird is making former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein look like a choirboy. I guess when they’re feeling the heat and there’s nowhere to run, some folks just lose it altogether and act in scared, illogical ways. Boy, I hope the medics are nearby because I can’t imagine Barid’s ticker is doing too well right now.

Should we really expect anything different from this bunch. With an environmental record based on a sound policy of avoidance, a little buffoonery is about the best we’ll get from Baird - we may as well enjoy it.

These people must be stopped. No matter what Rob & Zog and their ilk say, Harper & his mini-Me, Baird, are operating as though they have a majority when in fact 64% of Canadians oppose them.

The time & energy we spend here countering the claims and antics of the trolls could be put to far better use harnessing the considerable energy of the opposition and making it clear that these so-called representatives DO NOT SPEAK FOR US!

It’s time for a mutiny! I was in Harper’s office on Parliament Hill not long ago (I’m not kidding) and the decorative scheme symbolizes the Ship of State (teak deck, sea horses, tridents, seashells etc), with the PM at the helm. He’s steering this country onto the rocks, and taking the rest of the world with us. We can’t let that happen.

I am open to suggestion. How do we fling open our doors and windows across the country and yell WE’RE MAD AS HELL, AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

I don’t know how useful online petitions are, but there is one here if you wish:

“We call urgently for the US, Canada and Japan to stop blocking serious 2020 targets for emissions reductions, and for the rest of the world to refuse to accept anything less.”

If you sign it, they will send you email information unless you tell them not to.

Hat tip to BigCityLib who also links to a wiki page about Avaaz organisation:

I don’t think talking to, or yelling at, this government is going to accomplish anything.
It’s the opposition party leaders that need yelling at.
They have to force the government to call an election and, if need be, do something unorthodox…form a coalition government.
My MP happens to NDP (the party often annoys me, but he’s done a good job) and I plan to let him know how I feel….again.
A defeated Harper would probably then be “stabbed in the back” by his own people and removed from party leadership if past Conservative history repeats itself…

my MP is a Baird-wannabe. But I think you are right. We need to get the message to Dion et al that enough is enough.

And now the Canadian youth delegation is being intimidated by a Canadian “representative”:

…A youth delegation protesting the Harper government’s climate change policies say that a Canadian representative intimidated them on Wednesday with a warning about Indonesian prisons to get them away from a news conference held by Environment Minister John Baird…

…A spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the Canadian representative was not part of the government, but defended his actions…

So who’s this representative; one of Baird’s business buddies? One of Harper’s spin doctors?

Here is Mike de Souza’s article about this for CanWest News Service:

And he mentions it in his Bali blog under “Two governments different strategies”

Apparently the representative is Canadian security? I wonder where the Harper government hires their thugs from? Blackwater?