On July 20, the Earnscliffe (See "Who is Earnscliffe, anyway?") Liberal Government fired David "Don Kyoto" Anderson as Canada's Minister of the Environment and as a member of the Earnscliffe cabinet. Anderson is Member of Parliament for Victoria, B.C. and the Gulf Islands. At one time he had been B.C.'s senior cabinet minister.
We characterized Anderson (See "David Anderson - Don Kyoto de La La Land" as "window-dressing" when, last December, the Earnscliffe Strategy Group retained him in the Liberal pre-election cabinet. Window-dressing, we felt, designed for the soft-NDP and Green market. That strategy succeeded in winning seats for the Liberals in Ontario and B.C. And, as we predicted in December, not a gram of gratitude did the arrogant guys from Earnscliffe deliver to Anderson when they dumped him from the cabinet.
Prior to his firing, Anderson had pleaded for his job behind closed doors in the Liberal MP caucus. Putting aside none of his delusions or obsessions about Alberta's oil patch Anderson warned Liberal MPs that, without him defending all that is good and green, the Gnomes of Calgary would have their way with the earth's atmosphere and the seabeds of British Columbia. Last Thursday, now fired, Anderson spoke out in public, blamed his firing on a full-blown axis of evil extending from the purple uglies of the Alberta oil patch to Earnscliffe, to the right wing of the Liberal Party, to the Tory Party of Canada, to chump Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and to the CanWest Global media empire. "I fail to see why the Prime Minister had to satisfy the right wing [of the Liberal Party] by sacrificing me," said Anderson. "Maybe the right wing and the Tories will disappear from the scene. Maybe there's a realignment going on that they [Earnscliffe] are aware of that I'm not."
Anderson is much divorced from reality. The reasons the Earnscliffe Liberals fired Anderson are clear:
- Kyoto - Anderson insisted on gloating over the Kyoto Accord which he had manipulated the Chretien government into signing. The Earnscliffe Group dreads public relations disasters and implementation of Kyoto will produce a public relations disaster. The Kyoto Accord is based on shaky science (Kyoto proponents claim that global warming is based on man-made emissions of tasteless, colourless, harmless CO2 which is critical to plant life - even the existence of global warming, itself, has not been proven.). While Anderson was Minister of the Environment, he and his bureaucrats noisily pushed implementation of the accord. Earnscliffe is trying to blunt Alberta's sense of alienation. Anderson delighted in rubbing the nose of Alberta's oil patch in the murky Accord. Gasoline taxes might be necessary he said - the hated oil patch would likely be taxed. Along with Ontario's automobile industry, Alberta and its oil patch would be economically devastated by Kyoto.
- Patronage, Hypocrisy and Perks Anderson is no stranger to the Liberal patronage trough. In 1972, when Anderson lost his Victoria seat, Pierre Trudeau shuffled him up to a patronage job on the federal Immigration Appeal Board (Brian Mulroney fired him from the Board in 1989.). While preaching against the evils of Alberta's oil patch last fall, Minister of the Environment Anderson accepted a "legal" bribe from the Irving family, the shipping moguls of New Brunswick - a free family fishing vacation at the Irving's' famous fishing lodge on the Miramichi River. Down the St. Lawrence, meantime, Anderson's Department of the Environment allowed a sunken Irving rust bucket oil tanker to pour crude oil into the waters of the Gulf. During the sponsorship ("Adscam") scandal Anderson diverted $50,000 of Adscam tainted funds to a B.C. constituent. Last year Anderson channeled funds to a fuel cell project at the University of Victoria in his constituency. Just last Friday, the Auditor General revealed that Liberal patronage appointee Canada Post President Andre Ouellet had dished out untendered contracts to Adscam bad guys LaFleur Communications and had submitted $250,000 in excessive yearly personal expense claims, approved them himself, caused Canada Post to pay same. Earnscliffe needs to avoid other scandals, even little ones.
- Ottawa First - Anderson made no secret of the fact that he considered the Honourable David Anderson Ottawa's representative in B.C., not B.C.'s representative in Ottawa. In May, Ottawa allotted insufficient funds to the City of Victoria to care for Victoria's homeless - when Anderson announced the deficiency he resorted to bureaucratic hooga booga talk about Federal and Provincial jurisdictions. When Revenue Canada (aka the "CCRA") fleeced a number of Anderson's constituents in connection with stock-option plans, Anderson refused to help. "Guess he's too busy trying to change the weather," commented B.C. journalist Elizabeth Nickson. When fast-growing B.C. complained of being cheated of seats in the House of Commons responded Anderson, "Extra seats won't be worth much given the poor quality of most West Coast MPs." Over the heads of his own bureaucrats and the people of British Columbia's East Kootenays, Anderson tried to extend Waterton National Park into B.C. so as to cut off jobs in the forestry and tourism industries. When, in 2002, Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan criticized the Kyoto Accord, Anderson dismissed them with a high-pitched, schoolmasterly "provinces will be provinces" lecture.
- Insensitivity to Mr. and Mrs. Ordinary Canada - The independently wealthy Anderson refused to take the plight of jobless British Columbians into account when he stubbornly opposed offshore oil and gas drilling along B.C.'s impoverished North Coast. Read a July 24 letter to Anderson's home-town Victoria Times-Colonist: "Anderson's departure will help the North Coast ... The North Coast is an economic basket case, with the only hope for relief ... being the development of its offshore oil and gas reserves ... Anderson's career accomplishment has been to obstruct this project. Give it up David! Your day is done."
- People Skills and Judgement - The roots of Anderson's fall go much deeper. Even before Chretien appointed Anderson to cabinet, Anderson and B.C. Liberals were not on speaking terms - Chretien appointed Anderson because B.C. had elected so few MPs to Parliament. Many Ottawa Liberals disliked Anderson considered him an "s.o.b.", "immature", "arrogant" and a "snob". Initially appointed Minister of National Revenue in 1993, Anderson insisted on pursuing a lawsuit against the taxpayers of Canada for his Immigration Board firing by Mulroney.
- Ridiculing Earnscliffe!!! - When Earnscliffe bunged up the May-June election campaign, Anderson mercilessly ridiculed them. Although this should have been the least of Don Kyoto's sins, Earnscliffe, of course, treated it as the worst.