Just days before Canadian Environment Minister John Baird leaves for the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Canada is facing a second legal challenge for missing a key deadline under global warming legislation passed into law earlier this year. The government was served late yesterday with a second Application for Judicial Review for violating the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (KPIA), the Canadian federal law that requires reductions in greenhouse gas emissions according to the Kyoto Protocol commitment.
The application was filed on behalf of Friends of the Earth Canada by Chris Paliare of the firm Paliare Roland Barristers and Ecojustice (formerly Sierra Legal). The application alleges that the federal Minister of the Environment and the Governor in Council, consisting of federal cabinet ministers, are ignoring the rule of law by failing to comply with yet another requirement of the KPIA.
The federal government was legally required to publish draft regulations by October 20, 2007 that would enable Canada to meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. By failing to do so, it is out of compliance with the KPIA, thus triggering the second legal challenge.
“This new application, while relevant to climate change, is all about holding the Government of Canada accountable under Canadian law,” says lawyer Chris Paliare. “Despite a clear requirement to publish draft regulations, no action whatsoever has been taken. Once again, we are simply asking the court to require the government to comply with its legal obligations.”
“Missing this deadline demonstrates that Canada continues to be missing in action on global warming,” says Ecojustice lawyer Hugh Wilkins. “We cannot sit idly by while the government drags its feet and flouts our laws. The government must be held accountable to the will of the Canadian people and the will of Parliament.”
“The Canadian Government is ignoring its obligation to uphold its own laws, while seeking to undermine global negotiations on the defining issue of our lives,” says Friends of the Earth Canada Chief Executive Officer Beatrice Olivastri. “Canadians must insist on enforcement of the KPIA, our domestic law, so that we lead by action, rather than bullying other nations.”