John BairdLet’s spare a thought for someone else. Canadian Environment Minister John Baird, yesterday unveiled a series of initiatives which he says will make Canada a world leader in emissions reduction.

They include imposing restrictions on Alberta oil sands projects which came into being in 2004 or later and forcing oil sands companies built in 2012 or later to store gases underground.

However poor John’s proposals have gone down like a damp squid. His critics are arguing that the new environmental regulations give the Alberta oil sands a licence to release unlimited greenhouse gases into the atmosphere

“There are no regulations in this document whatsoever,” said David McGuinty, Liberal environment critic. “This is a list of their intention to do something, sometime in the future at an unspecified time.”

“This is a mechanism to encourage more oil sands development before the stricter regulations kick in,” said Dale Marshall of the David Suzuki Foundation. “This is little more than a ‘get your shovels in the ground now’ call to the oil industry.”