Mulroney: “If the prime minister isn’t driving the file then nothing is going to happen”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May got a chance recently to interview former prime minister Brian Mulroney about what it took to deal with the acid rain problem, and why we can’t seem to get the same kind of action today in Canada on the climate file.  The exclusive audio interview can be found on the Web site of Corporate Knights magazine. Mulroney wouldn’t directly comment on PM Harper, but he did indirectly suggest that Harper – through his obvious lack of leadership and action – has no regard for climate issues and has no intention of taking it on in any serious way.

Says Mulroney about the need to take leadership: “It has to be a top priority with the prime minister himself, and that’s important… He has to believe in it, obviously, and that’s the manner in which you galvanize the system.”

Harper’s actions make this clear: he doesn’t believe in it.

Mulroney said the cabinet, assistant deputy ministers, directors, senior advisors all walk to the drumbeat of the PMO. For them, he says, “We better be on our game 100 per cent because the boss is going to be here and he’s going to want to know what the hell is going on… That is the importance of the whole question of leadership.”

Added Mulroney later in the interview, “If one is confronted with a major challenge that has both domestic implications, combined with sophisticated and nuanced international problems that require a unique degree of cooperation to ensure that Canada is both a player and viewed as a constructive player internationally… it’s absolutely vital for the prime minister to drive the file… if the prime minister isn’t driving the file then nothing is going to happen… If he is, then it’s possible that big things will happen.”

Nothing, of course, is happening.

Mulroney was careful not to talk directly to the climate issue or Harper’s performance on that file, but it doesn’t take much to read between the lines.