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Old 11-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #402 (permalink)

giant steps
'trane's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 15,190

this is too funny. he's the minister of the environment for crying out loud:

Ozone gaffe shows Tories favour ‘spin over science,’ Trudeau says - The Globe and Mail

Too tightly scripted and perhaps caught off guard, the Environment Minister stumbled in the Commons Monday when the Montreal Liberal asked him to “explain to the House what ozone is and what is the difference between its impact at low altitude and high altitude?”

Mr. Kent, like every other minister during Question Period, did not waver from his talking points. Instead, of trying to answer the question he simply threw back an insult at Mr. Trudeau, criticizing the “quality” of the questions from the Liberal opposition.

The minister added: “This government would gladly compare our record on the environment, in all its dimensions to...”

At that point, a frustrated Mr. Trudeau interrupted: “You don’t know what ozone is.”

The Speaker called for order and Mr. Kent continued: “...to complete my question, again the opposition is using a questionable media source quotation of one of my staff that has been taken out of context.”

Mr. Kent was referring to a Postmedia story in which a document uncovered by an access to information request talked about cuts to ozone monitoring programs.

In a scrum after Question Period, Mr. Trudeau said his query had begun partly as a joke. He and his colleague, Kristy Duncan, had wondered what would happen if he stood up and asked the minister to define ozone and “just give him the opportunity to make me look like a fool for asking a question that he would obviously know the answer to,” he said.

Rather, Mr. Trudeau gave Mr. Kent the opportunity to play the fool. “I’m sure he’s right now going to Wikipedia,” Mr. Trudeau joked.

The answer, Mr. Trudeau added, is “fairly simple”: ozone is an oxygen molecule with three parts. It is dangerous at low levels of the atmosphere because it contributes to smog and at high levels it is good because it reflects ultraviolet radiation.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May also weighed in. She told reporters she would be “stunned” if Mr. Kent didn’t know what ozone is. And she lamented that ministers are so scripted in Question Period. “If a question comes for which an answer has not been previously written, even when the answer no longer makes sense, they read their answers.”
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