EMC news – Ottawa South MP David McGuinty has been elected to head the Canadian chapter of an international alliance of lawmakers that presses governments to address global environmental problems, such as global warming.
The Liberal MP received all-party support to become the president of Globe Canada on June 12.
“I am very humbled to have been elected by all parties to begin building some cross-party momentum,” said McGuinty.
The Canadian chapter of Globe International has been inactive for too long, said McGuinty, who promised to re-energize the organization.
One of the issues the chapter will follow closely is Canada’s progress in reducing its greenhouse emissions by 17 per cent of 2005-levels by 2020, he said.
“We’ll see what is happening, how well this is going, and what can legislators in all parties do to take actions on issues as important as climate change,” he said.
McGuinty said he hopes legislators can help re-establish Canadian credibility internationally.
“Canada as a country, we have multilateralism in our DNA, and I really get concerned with some of the choices being made by the government today about our multilateral role and responsibilities – including losing a United Nations Security Council seat. I find that difficult as a former UN official,” he said.
McGuinty said the choices made by Canada’s Conservative government won’t make the chapter’s work any easier.
“I don’t think anyone can afford to lose hope in this regard,” said McGuinty.
“These issues are too important to let languish and that is why I am excited to take this on and work with all sides of the house to build this momentum.”
McGuinty said he hopes to re-energize the Canadian chapter of Globe International.
“We are rebooting our chapter, re-energizing it and reconstituting it with MPs from all sides of the house who want to form a community of interest in the House of Commons,” he said. “The fact that our chapter was not active was problematic to me.”
McGuinty said he wants to build a chapter with members who are not overly partisan to tackle issues of interest to the majority of Canadians.
“It means I bring to bear all my local and international experience working on economic trade and environmental issues and even local issues,” said McGuinty, adding that those issues transcend any one party, any one order of government and constituency.
“This is too big and too important for us to allow these differences to get in our way.”
Globe International was founded in 1989 by legislators from the U.S. Congress, European Parliament, Japanese Diet and the Russian State Duma with the mission to respond to urgent environmental challenges through the development and advancement of complimentary legislation.
Today Globe chapters have been established in the parliaments of most G20 countries and EU member states.
“It is all about trying to get legislators from countries across the world to come together to ensure governments where they are active, are following through on their promises to make improvements when it comes to environment and economy,” said McGuinty.