Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains of 2007––the people, places, and things that we’ve either fallen head over heels in love with or developed uncontrollable rage towards over the past twelve months. Get your dose, starting Boxing Day and running into the new year, three times a day––sunrise, noon, and sunset.
No federal politician this year was a bigger embarrassment to Canadians than Environment Minister John Baird, and in a year with Peter Mackay, Stockwell Day and of course Stephen Harper all doing their level best to act like inbred dimwits incapable of governing a kindergarten classroom, much less a country of thirty million people, this is no small achievement. Baird’s conduct in the House of Commons alone would normally be embarrassing enough to earn him demerit points, considering even the most tepid and blah political commentators use phrases like “insane temper tantrums” to describe his demeanour in the House (and such behaviour is nothing new for Baird, who routinely made an ass of himself at Queen’s Park as well back in the day).
But this was no ordinary year: this was a year when Canadians overwhelmingly made it clear that environmental issues were of exceptional importance, and this was a year when Baird, the pointman for the feds on such issues, ascended to new levels of jackassery. Baird spent most of the year trying to make up his mind whether to go with “the Liberals didn’t do anything to decrease CO2 emissions, so why should we” or “trying to achieve Kyoto commitments would bankrupt this entire country” as his excuse for doing next to nothing in 2007, then capped off his performance by a truly inspired display of childishness in Bali, where his smug, arrogant behaviour earned a personal calling-out from Al Gore and branded Canada as a rogue nation on climate matters. That someone like Baird, who only a matter of years ago was a full-on climate change denier, is given such an important job is ludicrous; that he takes it so unseriously is simply insulting.
Photo by Jenny P.