Sunday, November 06, 2005

Diplomacy for Children: ANWR edition

A U.S. "diplomat" has been caught trivializing the Canadian stance against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). It's essentially the Wilkerson-softwood comment retooled for ANWR policy: Canada is electioneering and playing to domestic anti-US sentiment. Specifically, Tim Harper reported:
The U.S. State Department is defending the comments of a diplomat in Ottawa who belittles Canada's opposition to oil drilling in an Arctic wildlife refuge on the U.S. embassy website. In a posting entitled "Is it Really About the Caribou?" environmental counsellor Curt Stone uses his weblog, or blog, to suggest Ottawa's recent vocal concern over the drilling proposal is really about fanning anti-American sentiment for electoral purposes. [...] "What has got the Canadian government so upset about possible drilling in (the wildlife refuge)?" Stone asks. "Is it really about the caribou? Or is this simply another issue that resonates with Canadians in election season? [...] "Don't worry," Stone writes. "The caribou will be all right."
Yeaargh! For what it's worth, Stephane Dion (Min. of Environment) is having none-of-it:
Dion said he would take the posting as "irony" since the Canadian opposition dates back decades. Canada first prohibited development on the Yukon North Slope about 30 years ago and created a park to protect the Canadian portion of the Porcupine caribou calving and rearing grounds in 1984. "What can we do? If we believe it is a mistake, we need the outreach we have done. We cannot be mute," Dion said.

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