CBCN - Friday, May 24, 2024 - 12:00 a.m. (ET) - Segment #39

ruling in december 2022. The lead cnsel for the 9 island nations and I spoke with him earlier this week. Welcome back to the show. >> Thank you very much, david. >> How significant in your view is this opinion? >> Well, this is a historic landmark ruling by the international tribunal for the law of the sea. The world court for the oceans that was established in 1982. And it is the advisory opinion that spells out the obligation the states under the international law to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change. And so it is quite historic given that we are now at the precipice of catastrophic climate change and it is remarkable that the 21 judges of this tribunal ruled unanimously -- unanimously that states including the major polluters must take all necessary measures to protect the ocean against the catastrophic effects of climate chan, and if I could add, the ocean absorbs 93% of excess heat. They're at the foundation of the clim system. So what the court has to say about protection of the marine environment really I implicates our future survival as human kindnd one cannot imagine a case of greater consequence. >> David: you used a few words. Historic, landmark, and unanimous. It's lot also not legally binding. What does it mean in terms of enforcing what is spelled out here on the larger polluting nations? >> That's a good question, david, because in fact an advisory opinion is not legally binding in the sense that there are not two parties locked in a dispute requiring a final binding judgment. But the advisory opinion is an authoritative statement of binding international law. It spells out in detail what states are obligateed to do. And of course the small island stes I represent have brought this case because for 30 years since the U.N. framework convention on climate change was adopted in 1992, the international community has failed to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to the extent that is required. The science tells us that we must keep temperature rise to within 1.5° celsius of preindustrial temperatures or face catastrophic harm and currently based on the commitments of states to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions we are on course to achieve 2.8° celsius by the year 2100 which will result in mass extinction and the collapse of civilization and I'm not trying to exaggerate. The science is absolutely clear. So the small island states have as a first step engaged international courts and tribunals to spell out what is the legally binding obligations of states and what we heard from the tribunal today is that much of what they've tried to negotiate over the past 30 years is already part of international law. States cannot cause significant let alone catastrophic harm to others. If they do, they must pay compensation. So we hope that this landmark ruling will change the conversation at C.O.P. it will help states understand that we must make immediate and radical cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. Not because it's desirable. But because it's legally binding and because that is what will be necessary to ensure the survival of human kind in the coming decades. >> David: so just help me understand then how the 9 island nations you represented came to this. You visited tuvulu in april, and the series of knolls and reefs in the pacific. And how does this help them. >> You bring bring up of the tuvalu, a member state, 11,000. And average height sea level of 1.5 metres. And just 2° temperature rise, tuvalu will disappear. It will be submerged by rising sea level, and we can say well, who cares about 10,000 indigenous people in the south pacific. But what is happening to the small island states today will happen to the rest of us tomorrow. So these small island states have risen to the greatest of

challenges. Given they are at the margins of the power reality, they are speaking truth to justice at the international law, and saying we're not allowing the major polluters to bring about our destruction and extinction without a fight. And in fact the leaders of these small island states are exercising planetary politics and they are doing all of us a great favor because it's not just about a small island being the canary in the coal mine of climate catastrophe, but as I said earlier, what happens to them today will happen to the rest of us tomorrow. This is a wakeup call for us who lecture everyone about the rule oriented international order, to take international law serious, and international law clearly tells us today as the tribunal clarified today, that a state cannot engage in activities which causes significant let alone catastrophic harm to others, and we must take all necessary measures to protect and preserve the environment. >> David: many of the states will keep polluting, and keep doing some of the things they've been doing to this point which has led to the situation that tuvalu and other countries find themselves in. How do they -- what is next in the fight? You mentioned compensation, how does it help you get compensation? Will it be used for climate mitigation or helping people relocate if it comes to that? What is next on this? >> This is a first step in a historic struggle on the part of not just small island state but climate-vulnerable states to invoke international law in order to hold the major polluters accountable, and the first step at the very least is to have this tribunal authoritatively spell out what are the obligations of states. The question of enforcement will have to follow, and it's for the small island states to decide, for instance, how they will use this landmark ruling in future negotiations at C.O.P. cop29 being later this year, and whether they will decide even to litigate. To bring adversarial cases against some of the major polluters or energy companies. The point here is that if the major polluting states took seriously their obligations and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, we wouldn't be here today. We wouldn't be speaking in terms of legally binding obligations because common sense would dictate that we should act in good faith and do what is necessary to ensure the survival of the planet. But because we are at this point of potentially irreversible harm to the eco system, to the climate system, the small island states are now going to explore based on this ruling what other options are available to them. And it's not for me as their counsel to speculate what they will decide. >> Okay. Thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it, sir. >> Thank you, david. >> David: mp's were back in the house of commons this week with the high cost of food dominating debate. And new polling shows continued support for the conservatives despite approval for some key liberal policies. Our party insiders check the pulse of Announcer:Stories that make you think. -Will you lower prices? Announcer:If it matters in your home -I'm going to get in more debt. Announcer:or to this country -Affordable housing. -Climate change. Announcer:it's onCanada Tonightwith Travis Dhanraj. Watch onCBC News NetworkandCBC Gem. If you're lost You can look And you will find me Time after time For everything you care about. Intact Insurance. Sometimes the difference between a summer road trip and the road trip of the summer is an ice cold drink from McDonald's. Like a Small McCafe Iced Coffee or a refreshing Coca Cola for $1 plus tax. Step up your summer today. ( ) In here... you can expect to find... crystal clear audio... expansive display space... endless entertainment... and more comfort for everyone... But even with all that... we still left room... for all the unpredictability... spontaneity.. and unexpected things... you'll find out here... Jeep. Grand Cherokee. The most awarded suv ever. Let's go for a skate, and a little chat. Because retirement today is not what it used to be. The good news is we're living longer and more active lives, but planning for that longevitycan come with some challenges.

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covered politics for 20 of those. I've never heard of anyone bringing a weapon like that -- hunting rifle or not, into a parliament. You know. What do you make of this? >> Totally. I will go back to your point earlier, if you want something to go away, get it done with. I remember when I first came on the hill and I started working with ann McGRATH and something came up, issue came up, and she says where is this going to be in two weeks, make the decision today, get it all out. The fact that they didn't, this is still a story. This is something that the ndp is going toe able toalk about. They've broken -- the house has risen, and now they're going to go back to the ridings, and lead up to the election. This is not something I want to be talking about if I was the current premier. And just to maybe go back to the idea of actually bringing a gun into the legislature, it just... To me speaks of such privilege that -- well, I'm a house leader, the rules don't apply. >> David: I don't know that he was. We don't know the specific date and he's kind of not telling us. He also said I reject categorially all of the allegations -- categorically except for one. >> When you say something but -- don't say the first part. I don't know that's the message that folks want to give to people in saskatchewan going into the next election. I don't think it's particularly helpful. And maybe I disagree with you a bit. I don't think it's a speaker thing. I think this is something that premier moe and his team of candidates will have to deal with and are dealing with it poorly. >> A couple of things can be true. The speaker could have gone what is acceptable for the speaker and still he brought a gun to the legislature. Greg, it makes me wonder. He resigned as house leader. Even though the house is not going to come back before the election. Still in cabinet. Still in caucus. L in stabz after, you know -- still in cabinet after your boss said the allegations are categorically false, and automatics. Oops. And week ago we talked about this and I added the caveat that scott moe left out the text message that the house leader and the finance minister threatened that sent to the speaker and I worked in a provincial legislature and federal one, and that is beyond me. In terms of a gun -- who forgets bringing a gun into a workplace? In canada? That you don't need a gun for. This is -- the quebec legislature had an incident in the 80's, you know, a decade ago. We had a very serious one here. This is serious stuff. And how do you forget it? My other question is why do we believe harrison now? And why do we believe the premier now and a week ago they told us one thing. To your point of leaving him in cabinet, if more does come out, this will be another step and will he resign? Will he, won't. And will there be a couple of details and to my colleagues' point here, just rip the bandaid off. But obviously there was a lot more to what was going on in saskatchewan than we first realized and again I think it's serious, and not a coincidence it was done on friday. >> Give credit to Mr. Harrison, and I don't know, and before he was an mp, and says he was going on a hunting trip, and hunting rifle, and properly stowed and he had to go in the legislature to get work to go on the hunting trip, and he didn't want to leave the gun in the car. Security said he could come in and why he didn't leave it with security, just to fill in the blanks. >> If you make it about greg fergus, I'm going to cut you off. >> It's a registered firearm. He can't leave it with someone else. You have to keep that on your possession. There's rules on this. You had to do this. This is... >> I think a lot of serious hunters -- >> No. >> Serious hunters -- gun owners say he makes them look bad. I work for a provincial minister that would rather hunt than breathe. He would never, ever have a gun close to his businesses or the nova scotia legislature. >> The great irony as alex alexander quon says you can get prescription topermissionto bring a gun to the legislature, but it has to come from the speaker and now, we talk about sobeys and loblaw and the competition bureau, and talking about real estate and stopping competitors to set up. You want to drill in over the conversation of the price of groceries and the house of commons this we'll and. >> This is a pattern from the ndp, and bringing it back to the issues that people are dealing with, dealing with in a real way, and not just talking about it in a -- you know, a -- terrible this is happening. Get super mad. But we're going to put forward some ideas of how we can address the price of groceries and how we can take what we gain from taxing excess profits on grocery prices and give it back in a way that helps with the family

budget so you can put food on the table for your family. I thought it was interesting this week that they were talking about that. And also in the context of you know we've seen jagmeet and pierre poilievre take shots at each other over groceries and over going after ceos that head these grocery stores. I find it interesting that he's doing the subject, and putting it back to pierre poilievre and saying, okay, you've been talking about this the last two weeks, what are you going to do with this? Side with us or vote against it and stand with CEOs, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I thought it was another strategic move from jagmeet to put it right to the conservative leader and say, okay, do you mean what you say? Do the thing. If you don't, well, we'll know where you really stand. >> It was interesting, greg, on the cost of living and food prices this month, this week with the desperate inflation data came out, and the inflation went down and the rate on food went down, and increased, and at the same time, carbon tax went up which is a central political talking point in the parliament which speaks to the broad series of inputs that affect the costs. >> Grocery prices, I think, inflation went down to 1.7 which helped overall -- >> 1.4. >> And reduced to 2.7. which is great. It's great work by justin trudeau, reducing inflation like that. >> David: that's right. He brought it up. >> I read he drove it up. And now he's brought it back down. He giveth, he taketh away. Good stuff. I'm not sure I saw it as a big issue this week. I had seen a tweet by thedp leader and I saw around two apples, and I saw him take a lot of grief about that and it seems very much the conservative leader style, and people were talking about the organic tofu that was in the photo and the type of apples are very, very -- >> The two honey crisp apples cost about 6 bucks. They are high end premium apple, so I'm told. >> Parents are buying the big bag of cheap apples if you have a family. So I will give credit to the ndp. I know alister McGREGOR was raising something similar when parliament returned in the fall of 22. For the liberals, they have to look at what they can do on this, and it's pretty tough. >> David: yeah. >> It's around competition. So you see Mr. Champagne talking about bringing more supermarket chains into canada. There's the code of conduct. They've had some movement from some companies. Not so much on others. And again, you know, if I'm the liberals, I'm looking at the inflation rate and trying to make sure that it's keep coming down. >> Fred, now that the prime minister has decided to personally lower the rate of inflation and they can do their victory lap. Making a joke, of course. But, like, inflation crisis is over.affordability crisis is not. Because all of the price increases are baked into the basket of goods even to go down on certain products overall, everything is so more expensive. >> It's interesting to see the ndp. They're doing this and in some ways, you can see why they're doing it. But I think they're still getting the wrong words when they are doing. It they're going after the CEOs. They're going after the big companies. It's the same type of attack they do when they go after poilievre. When they talk about how he's going after workers. I saw jagmeet singh come out recently and say, well, he's never stood on a picket line with you. He's not really with you. Most canadians are not the wealthy people that are going to see -- or going to be attacked -- sorry, on the corporation side or feel the big union boss type stuff. They're not there. The ndp are again -- might be on the right issues, but not drilling down into actually getting to canadians on these issues. >> David: okay. Greg, I want to switch because we're getting tight on time to the poll we saw this week which is an interesting bit of data from abacus data that shows people like the issues the liberals are putting out there and the policies and don't want them to change. But they really want change. How does your crowd deal with a dynamic like that? >> Well, I mean, you don't know what problem -- you need to know what the problem is before you can solve it. And you know my short take on this was they like the programs. They don't like the programmer. And I think there was a lot of meat in that poll. Susan delacourt at the toronto star wrote a good column on it, as well. Breaking it down. It's kind of funny. We -- you know, we want dents dental care, and there is an expectation if the conservatives win, the leader will cut it. And they really like it. But they're also really aware that he may cut it. But it's still not going to change the way they vote. So they're -- I guess the diagnosis is probably the most helpful thing there. I think of conservative friend who told me in 2015, you mentioned it last time, as well, and the war room got to a point where they felt it didn't matter

what Mr. Harper said, people didn't want to hear from him anymore. And so the liberals have to kind of figure a way around that. Is it tone and language? I find a lot of what liberals say sounds a lot like 2016/17/18. It's not authentic. It doesn't sound the way people talk. I don't think people are as aspirational as they were when the government came in. It's much more brass tacks now. But I think there's a lot in that poll where you -- you're being told -- like people are concerned about abortion. Your last panel, the media panel, sorry, today, again -- mel and I talked about this a couple weeks ago. What is an old line, the greatest thing the devil did is convince the world he didn't exist. The greatest things the conservatives have done on abortion is convince people that they never bring it up. It's the liberals and the ndp. I think e's a lot of reluctance from media to touch the issue. I get it. I grew up in a strong faith. And my faith -- what I grew up in was against abortion. But people evolve. And I think canadians have evolved. And liberals have to figure out a way to have a conversation on tough topics like that. >> Fred, it's interesting, though, at the data it says they want change, but don't change that, don't change that, and don't change that, and I'm pretty worried he's going to change these things which ests a vulnerability for pierre poilievre. It's whether justin trudeau can take advantage of it. >> First of all, I'm glad that greg wants to talk about polling this time around. You're right. >> When have we not talked about polling? >> You to bring it up. Look, there are vulnerabilities there, and people right now -- prime minister trudeau has been in for almost a decade. When you do that, you collect enemies. You disappoint people when you're in power so long. He's done that. Through the pandemic and I said this again and say it now, he's done a good job leading us through that. The recovery afterwards, didn't seem a plan. Inflation we talked about went up. And people are blaming him for that. It's hard for him toavigate with that,here's the motion of the mood of change has set in. Any change -- right now, poilievre is the change. And there's the risk and the one thing that keeps conservatives up at night, and if there is a leadership change, and trudeau walks and a new leader walks in, andhat represents change. I don't know if any of the current cabinet ministers are actual change. If that comes in, they become the change that works for canadians, that is a problem for conservatives. >> David: there is, mel, this anger and push for change like we've seen in a bunch of western nations, but it's at play in new brunswick, and potentially saskatchewan. We see legault slide way down in quebec. During elections, people opted for consistent -- during covid they opted for consistency and now opting for change. How do you approach a dynamic like that even if the data shows that the issues you can push at. >> Totally. And for so long, you know, it felt like they weren't responding the way that people were asking to be responded to. Or didn't seem in touch with what people were going through. I had a friend today say you know -- liberals used to say -- and for those looking to join the middle class. It looks like they're saying that, and folks have fallen out of the middle class because of everything that happened. You need to refresh the way you're talking to the point if you are talking the way you were talking in 2015, 2016. That's no longer how people are feeling. It's not just an overhaul of maybe the leader or the person doing the programming to your point. It's total overhaul of how you speak to canadians. How you meet canadians. What I take from that is they really like dental care. They like some of the programs that we have gotten through the last year. They're looking for change. What an opportunity for jagmeet singh and the ndp to tap into that and position themselves as change but also you know we got the stuff down. You don't got to worry about us, we're going to keep it in and we'll do better. But, you know, election is still a year and a half away. So... Who knows what will happen. >> Greg, I was going to say we're out of time. It's amazing how mel can bring it back to give credit to jagmeet singh, and fred makes it about greg fergus. >> That's all I can do. >> Gang, good way to end the week. Thanks so much. Greg maceachern, fred delorey, and melanie richer. Thank you very much for being here. Thank you all for watching. I'm david cochrane. This has been power & politics. We'll be back on monday. Lots of coverage still ahead right here on cbc news network.

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