Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a course correction for his government yesterday, admitting his Tories are not doing enough on the environment and softening some of his cabinet’s hard-line edges.
Less than a year ago, Mr. Harper left the environment out of the agenda that brought him to office. But rising public concern and a Liberal Opposition pledging to make the issue an election battle cry led him to a rare tacit admission after shuffling his cabinet that he had underestimated the issue’s importance.
?We’ve clearly determined we need to do more on the environment,? he said yesterday afternoon outside 24 Sussex Drive. ?We recognize that particularly when it comes to clean air and climate change, that Canadians deserve a lot more.?
In fact, Mr. Harper placed the environment on a list of five top priorities for his government’s second year ? apparently to replace the oft-repeated five priorities that dominated the election platform that brought the Conservatives into office ? and insisted his government will be spending a lot of time on the issue.