Former Vice President Al Gore says Canada's Tories misrepresented him

Monday, February 12th 2007, 10:01 pm
By: News On 6

OTTAWA (AP) _ Former Vice President Al Gore is taking Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government government to task for suggesting he endorsed its performance on climate change.

The environmentalist, filmmaker and one-time presidential candidate issued a statement from his Tennessee office Monday distancing himself statements made by John Baird, Canada's minister of the environment.

``The comments I made were designed to encourage the Harper government not to abandon Canada's tradition of fighting above its weight class on the world stage as part of the Kyoto process,'' Gore said. ``It is my experience that other nations do look to Canada for moral leadership. ... I urge the Harper government to do the right thing.''

Against Gore's urging, Harper's government has abandoned Canada's greenhouse-gas reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, rejecting its targets as unattainable. The government has instead called for a series of other programs to fight global warming.

In the House of Commons, Baird has habitually responded to opposition questions by reading aloud statements ridiculing the Liberals' record on climate change. Last week, he read a purported endorsement from Gore.

``Canada (is) once again providing leadership in the world, fighting above its weight class and showing moral authority to the rest of the world. That's what Canada's known for,'' Baird read. ``Do we know who said that yesterday? Al Gore.''

Gore said his statement was taken out of context and was made last summer. But the government circulated a transcript from a Global TV interview that aired last week in which Gore made similar remarks.

Under the Kyoto accord, Canada pledged to cut its emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. But the country's emissions are now more than 30 percent above 1990 levels.