No, the Liberal MP for Etobicoke-North does not win this award for rhetorical silliness because of anything she said in Parliament. It was, instead, her reaction to the news that Canada was withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol because the Liberals under Chrétien “didn’t get the job done”:
[Ms.] Duncan denounced the Conservatives for the Kyoto withdrawal, but said her party wasn’t to blame for failing to implement the accord while it held power.
“We were facing an opposition that does not believe in the science of climate change,” she said.
True enough. And it’s also true enough that after 2004, the Opposition could very well have blocked any attempt to implement Kyoto. However, that would have depended on both the NDP and the BQ siding with the Tories on that issue — and given the progressive instincts of those two parties, such an alignment seems unlikely.
Moreover, from 1997 (when Canada actually signed Kyoto) to 2004, the Liberals had a majority government. As fiscally irresponsible as such a move would have been, the Chrétien government could have easily implemented laws to bring Canada into line with Kyoto. It didn’t – and with every year of inaction on the file, the targets became more and more difficult to reach, until by the time the Tories came to power the probability of meeting them was pretty much a standing joke.
Certainly, Ms. Duncan may have reason to condemn today’s decision: it’s her job after all. And she bears no personal blame for the Liberals failing to implement Kyoto, since she didn’t get into politics until three years ago. But to say the federal Liberals aren’t to blame for failing to meet Kyoto’s targets is to deny recorded history, and that bout of rhetorical silliness earns her the nomination.