Stopping for eco-breakfast

"Why fight if you can seduce?" asked Federal Minister of the Environment David Anderson on Wed., Jan. 23, while visiting the University of Calgary for an interactive political discussion.

Anderson, a B.C. Liberal, stopped in Calgary on his way back to Ottawa from the Okanogan to meet with students and media alike, and discuss the current situation he faces. An eloquent speaker, Anderson touched on subjects ranging from the aftershocks of September 11 to energy efficiency to the need for global cooperation in the battle against warming climates. And while the subjects varied, his philosophy remained the same.

"It’s not going to do any good to try and coerce someone into an agreement," he explained. "You’ll find the best way to achieve a goal is to get others to buy into your principles. To make them believe what you believe."

Michelle Fortier, President of the University of Calgary Liberal Association, asked if continued cooperation between countries could be expected outside of the alliance to fight terrorism. Anderson was less confident.

"I don’t know how things will go," he said. "I’d like to think things will continue to go the way it has of late but truly I don’t know what will happen with international discussions about things like climate control."

For Anderson and the rest of the federal cabinet, most programs have taken a back seat to maintaining a Canada-U.S. border that has become a more stringent territorial boundary since September 11.

"When I was down in the U.S. not too long ago I noticed these enormous billboards of the American flag with the phrase ‘United We Stand’ written underneath," he explained. "To me that’s the difference between U.S. and Canadian politics. Down there, they stand not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans. In Canada we are much more adversarial.

"We need to work together instead of against one another."

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