This past weekend was Toronto’s first Green Living Show at the Exhibition. I was there with the Green Parties of Canada and Ontario, which remarkably were the only political parties with a booth at the show. (Our booth was surrounded by car companies. Very funny, GLS. Very funny.)
There’s some great video on YouTube of Friday’s main events, namely Al Gore correctly identifying the new Harper/Baird plan as a fraud, and David Suzuki calling John Baird out on it.
On Saturday, Elizabeth May spoke to the show in what was the most passionate and well-received address I’ve ever seen her deliver. Joel Parkes gives an excellent account:
Wow! I just got back from the Green Living Show in Toronto where I saw Al Gore and many others speak but I have to say the speech that will stay with me the longest was Elizabeth May’s speech during the politician’s presentation part of the evening. She shared the stage with Jack layton who did his typical ‘happy Jack’ routine. Elizabeth then came out and spoke with such emotion and sincerity and passion that she got two standing ovations … Her voice breaking and rising to a shout, she demonstrated true passion like I have never seen in a political speech before. It was the ‘gloves off’ Elizabeth that I had wanted to see for awhile. She even apologised for getting so emotional but she said that Harper had brought out the maternal instincts in her and that she felt like a Mama grizzly protecting her cubs. Someone from the audience said ‘Don’t apologise”, and another person stood up and said ‘What you showed us is what we need’ … When the Stephane Dion video came on screen my friend and I just went home, we had seen the best that a politician could ever deliver. We, as a political party, are being guided by a truly motivating and passionate person.
Coming away from the show, however, there’s one important observation I haven’t heard anyone make. This event was a three-day trade show, an almost purely capitalist exercise. Exhibitors paid thousands of dollars to be in attendance, and were all there because they had something to sell. And yet, John Baird had the nerve to stand on the floor of the show itself and say again that action on the environment is bad for the economy.
How he’s not deafened by the constant cognitive dissonance ringing in his head, I’ll never understand. It’s almost impressive.