Thursday, February 22, 2007

Layton invites Gore to Ottawa

Star-struck Layton invites Al Gore to Parliament Hill

Al Gore will personally deliver some inconvenient truth to the Harper government if NDP Leader Jack Layton has his way.

The former U.S. vice-president has tentatively accepted an invitation to speak on climate change in Ottawa, Layton said Thursday.

Layton, sounding star-struck after hearing Gore speak at the University of Toronto, says the ideal venue for an Ottawa speech would be the House of Commons.

"I don't mind admitting it, I've been a Gore fan for a long, long time."

Layton said Gore autographed his copy of Earth in the Balance, a book Layton's mother gave him years ago.

The Conservative government may not share the NDP leader's enthusiasm for the globetrotting Democrat.

Gore has made no secret about his concern over Canada's retreat from the Kyoto Protocol.

"He said it would be a tragedy if Canada drifted away from its Kyoto obligations," said Layton. "It would sent a message around the world that would be very unsettling."

Gore rejects the concept of intensity targets, which are expected to be at the core of the Conservative plan to curb industrial greenhouse emissions.

Intensity targets would require large polluters to reduce the volume of emissions per unit of production, but would not limit total emissions.

Gore has described the targets as an invention of the Bush administration, designed to let greenhouse pollution rise.