Click the audio player to hear my interview with Stéphane Dion from the 2010 Millenium Summit in Montreal.
Stéphane Dion is a Canadian member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville in Montreal. He was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2006 to 2008. Dion resigned as Liberal leader after the 2008 election where the party suffered its second worst result ever. Dion is a former professor who served as a cabinet minister under Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.
I caught up with Mr. Dion at the 2010 Millenium Summit, an annual event in Montreal that brings together representatives of government, NGOs and academia to discuss progress on the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). The 8 MDGs range from cutting the spread of extreme poverty in half and halting the spread of HIV Aids and providing universal primary education by 2015. These goals were agreed upon in 2000 through the UN Millenium Declaration, which committed nations to a new global partnership. Progress on the MDGs has been slow to date.
This year’s Summit focused on the theme of development and climate change. During his time as leader of the Liberal Party and Minister of the Environment, Stéphane Dion became well known for his efforts to champion the cause of climate change. His Green Shift proposal in the 2008 federal election campaign would have marked a signal shift in ongoing efforts to internalize the price of carbon emissions in Canada – something that economists from across the political spectrum say is necessary to reign in greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Dion was defeated in the election and the current Conservative government has since done nothing to reduce Canada’s runaway emissions or to implement any form of carbon pricing policy .