Berman: "...this debate that they're creating is just slowing us down."

PowerUp Canada executive director Tzeporah Berman has criticized the provincial New Democrats for opposing the Campbell administration's cap-and-trade legislation. But, in an interview yesterday, she's also agreed the specifics of that cap-and-trade system shouldn't be put in place behind closed doors - the Opposition's principle reason for voting against the bill.

Speaking on Public Eye Radio, Ms. Berman said "they voted against it because it was a proposal by the Liberal government. And that's a really good example of a lack of leadership. Because, if we look at other jurisdictions that are being successful in reducing global warming pollution and helping to create a green economy, they're doing that by reaching bi-partisan agreements. This is not the issue we should be fighting on."

"They're just grasping at straws to oppose whatever the Liberal government was putting into place," she responded, when asked about the New Democrats' concerns surrounding the secrecy of that legislation.

But shouldn't there be openness and accountability in the creation of a cap-and-trade system given its complexity? "Of course we need openness and accountability," Ms. Berman stated. "And there's no reason that the NDP couldn't have suggested changes (to the legislation). And the fact is, though, that we need to act quickly. And this debate that they're creating is just slowing us down."

So is Ms. Berman worried about the government's secretive approach to cap-and-trade? "Of course. And we would and we will have significant debates about how cap-and-trade is put into place. There's no question. And we're already seeing that between what the Obama administration is doing in the United States and how that's going to work for Canada nationally."

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