Oh fer chrissake.

The COP MOP meeting in Montreal starts Monday. Guess what else is happening Monday up in Canadaland?

… Monday is also the day that Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Liberal Party government is expected to fall in a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons. Many of the Canadian cabinet ministers and other members of Parliament who were supposed to attend the conference will now be scurrying to the campaign trail instead.

“It’s the nightmare scenario that environmental activists around the world have been hoping would be avoided,” said Elizabeth May, executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada.

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Great. And it gets better. Meet Canada’s environment minister, Stephane Dion:

Mr. Dion, a mild-mannered man who wears a windmill pin on his lapel, has been credited by many environmentalists for his diplomatic skills with China, India and the Bush administration. He has pushed for international efforts to increase technological innovation like hydrogen fuel cells and methods for … carbon sequestration, and planning for droughts and floods that he says will be consequences of the existing buildup of the heat-trapping gases. “What Canada will attempt to do is reach a rapprochement,” he said.

But about that rapprochement … funny story:

Should the Liberals lose the vote now expected in January, a minister from the Conservative Party – which is critical of the Kyoto Protocol and rooted in oil-rich Alberta Province – would probably replace Mr. Dion as president of the conference for the rest of the year.

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And I’m sure that Alberta oilman be working doggedly for an extension of Kyoto’s mandatory CO2 targets.

Can someone tell me why acts of fate keep sandbagging our biggest chances for progress on climate?

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