Kyoto like playing a 50-minute hockey game: Harris

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Worried by continued reports the feds are pushing ahead with the Kyoto Agreement, despite the non-involvement of the U.S., Mike Harris is calling on Jean Chretien to reverse course.

Ontario’s Premier Harris will send the PM a letter asking him how many jobs will be considered acceptable to lose as a result of Kyoto. He contends the province’s industry would make for greener pastures in the U.S. where guidelines would remain much more lax.

Armed with projections pegging the cost of Kyoto at $30 billion, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is set to tell Chretien ratifying the Kyoto treaty on climate change is “foolish.”

The Chamber, together with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is reportedly set to argue the cost of meeting the treaty’s targets is too much to bear, especially considering the U.S. is not prepared to follow suit.

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters announced to media it feels the true cost of Kyoto may in fact be in the neighborhood of $40-billion thanks to 450,000 lost manufacturing-sector jobs.

“I don’t accept these figures,” says Chretien. “There is nothing to be gained by frightening people when all the facts are not known. Once the facts are known then we will make the right decision.”

This response seems to have infuriated Harris, who writes in reference to the impending competitive disadvantage, “Prime Minister, we can’t afford to play 50-minute hockey when the U.S. and other competitors play a 60-minute game.”

“We would end up having to cripple our economy to achieve these kinds of targets,” says Nancy Hughes Anthony, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

David Anderson, the federal Environment Minister, says he will press the U.S. to do more on reducing greenhouse gas emissions when he meets today with his U.S. counterpart, Christine Whitman, head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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