Former PQ MNA sues government over Kyoto
Published Friday, January 13, 2012 7:54PM EST
MONTREAL - A group led by a former Bloc Quebecois MP is taking the Canadian government to court in the hope of overturning Ottawa's decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol.
Daniel Turp presented a motion in Federal Court today to contest the Conservative government's decision to ditch the world's only binding climate treaty.
Turp's group, which includes university students and environmentalists, is asking the court to determine whether the Kyoto withdrawal violates Canada's international commitments.
He vows to take the case to the Surpreme Court, if necessary, regardless of the cost.
"I don't think it's a question of money. We'll find the money to do what is good in this case, bring the government to think it was a very bad idea to withdrawal from this treaty," says Turp.
The professor of international law argues Canada signed the protocol as a country and that it cannot back out based on just a simple decision by the Harper government.
Turp also says the Tories' decision to withdraw from Kyoto violates democratic principles.
Julius Grey, the lawyer handling the case, feels that the suit will make others think twice before pulling out of Kyoto.
"It's necessary for all the countries in the world to give them hope that the progress they have made in the field of environment is not going to be remade suddenly by a new government here and a new government there," said Grey.
One environmentalist who showed up to support the cause expressed disappointment with the casual way which the Harper Tories shed the deal.
"I would have liked to hear the government talk about the cost of the damages towards people's health and towards our environment and the global environment of all the planet," said Andre Belisle an environmental activist.
Environment Minister Peter Kent announced last month that Canada was pulling out of Kyoto, making it the first country to abandon the climate treaty.
With a file from The Canadian Press