obama moment of canada

Climate change is a phenomenon that countries all around the world are concerned with. Tzeporah Berman (2016) discusses how multiple Canadian government administrations have dealt with the topic in this post. Berman (2016) criticizes the Harper government (a conservative-controlled administration) in the essay and praises the gains achieved since then by the Notley and Trudeau governments. According to Berman, the Alberta Climate Plan was “historic – and incomplete.” s on tar sands” Her reasoning is that the plan does help and sets the stage for President Trudeau to be a leader on the world climate control stage but its limitations on oil sand production do not go far enough. (Berman, 2016).

This article has a direct tie in to Telford’s Chapters 2 and 3 (Political Parties & Political Culture). The article discusses political party identities as well as ideologies and defines the political stance of the liberal and conservative parties. The article aligns with Telford’s teachings on the Canadian government and its multi-party system by pointing out the differences in the governments of conservative Harper and more liberal views of Notley and Trudeau. Also, Telford explains how the Harper government organized and unified the conservative party bringing solidarity to the conservative agenda.

Regarding the content of the article, it is an informative and well written article about the current state of climate change issues within the Canadian government. There is a lot to be learned in the rather short article. It is well worth the time to read it and adds to the conversation on climate change. It is interesting to note that Ms. Berman compared Canada’s changing stance toward climate change to their southern neighbor under President Obama. The article also notes that the Obama administration was spurred on to its climate control agenda by “hundreds of thousands of people marching in the streets and millions of people submitting public comments” (Berman, 2016), which emphasizes the strength of grass roots organizing in climate change. It is interesting also to note that currently the tide in the U.S. has turned and the environment is now on the back burner and it also appears that some of the progress made by Obama is going to be quickly reversed by the Trump administration. The article also states that going forward Canada needs to develop “a more sophisticated and complex inside and outside game – a radical pragmatism” regarding climate change (Berman, 2016). This statement seems to sum up the author’s feelings on the inadequate state of affairs in current climate change policy in Canada.


Berman, T. (2016). Our Obama Moment. Alternatives Journal (AJ) – Canada’s Environmental Voice, 42(2), 75-76.

Telford, H. (2015). Rules of the Game: An Introduction to Canadian Politics 1e. Pearson: Canada.

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