US embassy cable - 05TORONTO3133

Ontario Environment Minister Traveling to Montreal

Identifier: 05TORONTO3133
Wikileaks: View 05TORONTO3133 at
Origin: Consulate Toronto
Created: 2005-12-01 12:41:00
Tags: SENV PGOV KPAO PREL CA Environment
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

011241Z Dec 05
E.O.12958: N/A 
TAGS: SENV, PGOV, KPAO, PREL, CA, Environment 
SUBJECT: Ontario Environment Minister Traveling to Montreal 
Ref: Toronto 1697 
Sensitive But Unclassified - Protect accordingly. 
1.  (U) See action request in para 5. 
2. (SBU) SUMMARY:  Ontario Environment Minister Broten asked 
ConGen Toronto to help her set up meetings with U.S. 
environmental officials at the COP-11 meetings in Montreal 
next week.  Post believes it would be useful for a U.S. 
official to meet with Broten, who lacks environmental 
expertise and whose views may therefore be more amenable to 
persuasion, to discuss U.S. environmental protection 
efforts.  See action request in para 5.  END SUMMARY. 
3. (U) Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten asked 
ConGen Toronto to help her set up meetings with key American 
delegates representing U.S. states, municipalities, and 
businesses at the COP-11 meetings in Montreal.  Broten will 
arrive in Montreal at about noon on December 6 and will 
depart Montreal on December 8 at about 2 PM.  Broten will 
attend the Leaders Summit the afternoon of December 6. 
Senior Policy Advisor Lois Corbett is scheduling 
appointments for Broten.  Corbett can be reached by e-mail 
at or by phone until December 3 
at 416-327-9720 and by cell phone after 
December 3 at 416-570-3342. 
4.  (SBU) Broten, who lacks environmental experience, was 
appointed to the post of Environment Minister last summer by 
Ontario Premier McGuinty, who has maintained a strong hand 
in developing Ontario's environmental policy.  The McGuinty 
government has politicized the environment by publicly 
blaming the U.S. Ohio Valley for Ontario's air quality 
problems instead of engaging the U.S. and its own federal 
government in a constructive dialogue on the subject and 
acknowledging Ontario's contribution to its own problem 
5.  (SBU) Action request: Post requests Department consider 
having a member of the U.S. delegation meet with Minister 
Broten in Montreal to discuss cross-border air quality 
issues and U.S. climate change policy.  We believe it would 
be useful to lay down another marker with her that the U.S. 
is concerned about the environment, is working hard to 
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, and 
is very interested in dialogue and working with Ontario (and 
Canada) on this issue.  We believe she could be open to 
persuasion and more cooperative consultations with the U.S. 
End action request. 
6.  (U) Environment Minister Laurel Broten's biography 
On October 02, 2003, Laurel Broten was elected to represent 
the community of Etobicoke - Lakeshore as their member of 
Provincial Parliament.  Prior to her election to the Ontario 
Provincial Legislature, Broten maintained a successful 
practice as a trial lawyer.  Furthermore, she has a track 
record of strong advocacy in the fight for a vibrant and 
healthy community. 
Broten is past chair of the Board of the Gatehouse, a 
community-funded centre for survivors of child abuse.  Under 
her leadership as chair, the Gatehouse grew from a local 
initiative into an internationally recognized voice on child 
abuse prevention, recovery, and victims' rights. As former 
chair of the Gatehouse National Committee, her work with 
police services and other stakeholders expanded the 
Gatehouse services across Canada. 
In addition to her professional career, and her involvement 
at the Gatehouse, Broten was an active member of the 
Etobicoke Rotary, LAMP Community Health Centre Community 
Relations Committee, and a spokesperson and member of GASP 
(Good Air Safe Power).  GASP is a grassroots organization 
that worked to phase out coal use at the Lakeview Generating 
Facility, the largest source of air pollution in the GTA. 
Broten took a leadership role in the Lakeshore Community 
Audit Project, a groundbreaking initiative that evaluated 
Lakeshore community strengths and needs and produced the 
Report Card on the Quality of Life in the Lakeshore.  In 
this capacity she served on the Report Card steering 
committee, facilitated youth focus groups and participated 
in economic regeneration initiatives. 
Upon her appointment as Parliamentary Assistant to the 
Premier, Broten has been tasked with developing meaningful 
reforms to address the issues surrounding domestic violence 
in Ontario for the McGuinty Government.  She has been 
working to draft changes in both attitudes and legislation 
across the province and has received invaluable 
contributions from individuals in all professional sectors 
that are affected by this important social issue. 
Broten has a B.A. and B.Sc. from McMaster University and a 
law degree from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to 
entering private practice for a large national firm, Laurel, 
who is fluently bilingual, articled at the Supreme Court of 
Canada. She has advocated on behalf of clients at all levels 
of court and before numerous tribunals and commissions. 
Broten and her husband, Paul, live in south Etobicoke.  She 
recently gave birth to twins. 
End biography. 

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