OTTAWA — Just as one federal cabinet minister is urging a more sophisticated tone to the climate-change debate, a second cabinet minister has found himself trying to prove he is not a climate-change denier.Environment Minister Peter Kent this week said the federal government would never opt for a carbon pricing scheme itself, but would be open minded about pricing arrangements set up by the provinces.“We need to add a bit of subtle differentiation when we talk about carbon pricing,” Kent said in an interview on Wednesday, adding that he and Alberta were on the same wavelength in taking action to significantly cut emissions.But a day later, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver appeared to play down the urgency of fighting climate change.In an editorial board meeting with La Presse in Montreal, Oliver cited scientists who say that fear of climate change has been exaggerated. His comments were confirmed through a transcription of that part of the meeting, provided to The Canadian Press on Friday by Oliver’s spokesman.“I did not say that there is no problem, and I do not say that others (scientists) have said that there is no problem. Instead, they say there is a big problem. But now they say that the problem is not so urgent that they previously thought. Maybe it will take more time,” Oliver said, according to his spokesman.“But … I do not deny the problem, which is a fundamental problem.”Oliver was not able to cite any scientists at the time, but the minister’s staff pointed to an article by climate-change skeptic Lawrence Solomon as well as quotes in The Economist and other publications from academics questioning whether the pace of global warming was slowing.Oliver’s comments took on a life of their own amongst environmentalists, who bombarded social media with comments questioning the Harper government’s dedication to slowing global warming.The minister is getting briefed by distorted media reports about climate change, said Keith Stewart, climate and energy campaign co-ordinator for Greenpeace Canada. He called Oliver’s views “appalling” and “shocking.”They are a contrast in tone to that of Kent and Alberta Premier Alison Redford in Washington earlier this week. In separate appearances and meetings, Kent and Redford both stressed that Canada was taking climate change very seriously and that strong measures were in the works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector.They need to persuade the American public that Canada is serious about emissions, in the hopes of winning U.S. regulatory approval to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would carry Alberta bitumen through the United States down to the Gulf coast.Gone was the federal talk about any form of carbon pricing being akin to a carbon tax that would raise the price of everything. Indeed, Kent took pains to stress that while Ottawa likes its regulatory approach to emissions, he was open to provinces setting up their own plans — as long as such arrangements lead to actual reductions in emissions.“There hasn’t been a great deal of subtlety in talking about carbon pricing. There are those carbon taxes where the revenues go into general revenue and do not guarantee the reduction of a single ton of greenhouse gases. (But) Alberta has a tech fund wherein their revenues are focused only, and in isolation, on technology to achieve further ghg reductions than the emitters in that province are already able to achieve.”Over the past six months, Conservative MPs have been relentless in their attack on any kind of carbon pricing regime, equating all such efforts to a “tax on everything.”But the pending new regulations on oil and gas emissions are pushing the federal government to recognize that provincial carbon pricing schemes are legitimate ways of fighting climate change, said Alex Wood, a senior director at the Sustainable Prosperity think tank in Ottawa.“There’s a certain theatre being played out in the House of Commons around these kinds of issues, and then there’s the reality across the country. What you’re getting is the (environment) minister saying carbon pricing is actually a reality in large parts of the country, and therefore as a national government we’re not going to say it’s a bad thing,” Wood said.“That’s a welcome development, that the government is creating the space for that kind of policy to be developed at the provincial level.”He did not comment on Oliver’s interview, but tweeted earlier: “Min. Kent throws US consideration of #kxl (Keystone) a bone yesterday (not against carbon pricing). Min.Oliver takes it back today (no #climate change).”Later Friday, Oliver issued a release clarifying his earlier remarks: “As I said yesterday to La Presse, climate change is a severe problem. That is why our government is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent by 2020, and we are already halfway towards achieving that goal.”As the Harper government heads into the latter half of its mandate, there is growing recognition among Conservatives that their rhetoric on the environment may need to shift.Canada has committed to cutting its emissions to 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020, but so far only has measures to take the country half way there. Most of those measures are provincial. In order to make up the other half, oil and gas regulations due to be published in coming months need to be quite stringent.Federal officials have been negotiating with industry and Alberta officials for months, and have a general agreement on the framework but are still haggling over numbers. Provinces will have the leeway to design their own emissions regimes as long they meet the targets. And the federal government will not take any of the revenue collected by provinces through carbon pricing regimes. read more

Egypt buys 2 disputed Mistral warships from France in 2nd major military purchase this year PARIS – Egypt has agreed to buy two Mistral-class warships from France, the French government said Wednesday, announcing its second military sale to that country this year.The assault ships, which can each carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armoured vehicles, were originally intended for Russia until the deal finally fell apart because of the Ukrainian crisis.The Canadian Press reported recently that Canada’s defence mnister had been “actively engaged” in sounding out the French about a possible purchase of the Mistral helicopter carriers, including a face-to-face exchange at the most recent NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels last June.Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Canadian Press that the effort ground to a halt because of Canada’s federal election campaign ahead of the Oct. 19 vote.Russia’s deal with France was originally supposed to be its biggest arms purchase ever from a NATO country.France agreed to refund 950 million euros ($1 billion) already paid by Russia. France didn’t say how much Egypt agreed to pay, but denied losing money.Egypt also purchased 24 advanced fighter jets from France earlier this year for nearly $6 billion, as it sought international help to bomb Islamic State targets.The Egyptian government has been battling a long-running insurgency in the northern Sinai region, which escalated after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 amid massive protests against his rule and cracked down on Islamic groups. A local Islamic State affiliate has been claiming responsibility for militant attacks in the area. by The Associated Press Posted Sep 23, 2015 5:26 am MDT Last Updated Sep 23, 2015 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Pioneering American bishop, the Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, from Chicago, Illinois, has been invited to deliver the address as the couple strive to reflect their transatlantic relationship amid the tradition of St George’s Chapel.Bishop Curry, who has been praised for his “infectious laughter and self-deprecating humour”, is the first African-American bishop to have served as the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop, a role he has held since November 2015. The music will also have an American influence according to Christopher Warren-Green, who will conduct musicians on the day. Florist Philippa Craddock FlowersThe couple have chosen high society florist Philippa Craddock to design their day, using seasonal plants and flowers from the Crown Estates and Royal Parks chosen particularly for their pollinator-friendly properties.Aisles, pews, tables and halls will be lined with plants from wildflower meadows, picked to “provide a great habitat for bees and help to nurture and sustain entire ecosystems by promoting a healthy and biodiverse environment”, Kensington Palace said.Ms Craddock has been named “Queen of London florists” by British Vogue and “a floral mastermind” by Tatler. Read more about the wedding florist here. The Queen signed the Instrument of Consent in March, at the top of a vellum document transcribed in calligraphy and issued under the Great Seal of the Realm. Florist Philippa CraddockCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire A very traditional ceremony The couple will be make their vows at St George’s Chapel, which last hosted a royal wedding in May 2008 when Peter Phillips – son of The Princess Royal – married Autumn Kelly. The traditional ceremony will be conducted by The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd. David Conner while the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows. Miss Markle, who was a UN women’s advocate, is unlikely to opt to obey the prince. The couple will probably choose the Series One (1966) Book of Common Prayer ceremony, just as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did, which allows the bride to drop “obey him” and “serve him” from the religious proceedings.The regiments Prince Harry served with in Afghanistan will a have a “special place” during the ceremony.The 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, where the prince served as an Apache Pilot in Helmand Province will be represented, as well as The Royal Gurkha Rifles, his comrades in Afghanistan in 2007, and RAF Honington, where he is Honorary Air Commandant. The document states: “Now know ye that we have consented and do by these presents signify our consent to the contracting of matrimony between our most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales KCVO and Rachel Meghan Markle.”Prince Harry, as sixth-in-line to the throne following the birth of Prince Louis, had to seek the permission of the Queen under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.The Act requires the first six people in line to obtain the Queen’s blessing to marry, unless they wish  to be disqualified from succeeding to the Crown. Then at 1pm, the newlyweds will undertake a two mile tour of Windsor in an Ascot Landau carriage, greeting well-wishers, which is expected to take 25 minutes.It’s the same carriage the prince used in the procession at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton,when he was surrounded by small bridesmaids and page boys.The couple will leave Windsor Castle by carriage via Castle Hill, travelling along the High Street and through Windsor Town before returning along the Long Walk for the first reception at St George’s Hall.Read more about the procession here. Household Cavalry troopers will line the staircase at St George’s Chapel, while streets within the precincts of the castle will be lined by members of the Windsor Castle Guard from 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and by Armed Forces personnel from the Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, which has the Prince as Commodore-in-Chief, and the Royal Marines, where he is Captain General.Read more about St George’s Chapel here.WATCH: How Diana, the in-laws and Prince Louis will fit into the Royal Wedding Peonies are one of Ms Markle’s favourite flowers, so it is likely her floral bouquet will include these fragrant blooms, which are in season in May. Don’t miss the processionAfter the ceremony, among the first people to congratulate the couple will be some of the 2,640 charity workers, community champions and local school children who are being invited to watch the wedding from inside the walls of Windsor Castle.  The Queen’s arrival at St George’s Chapel for her grandson’s wedding marked a key moment in the day’s proceedings: that the entire guestlist were now present at the venue.Tradition dictates that Her Majesty is the last to arrive at Royal engagements, visits and events – and the protocol even extends to her family’s weddings. She will watch Meghan Markle walk down the aisle to royalty and an awaiting Prince Harry.And guests will have to be on their guard for another tradition which means when the The Queen stops eating, others must do the same. The protocol usually relates to banquets, and with 200 guests set to sit down for an evening meal as part of the celebration, it is understood the custom will have to be adhered to.  But those worried about scoffing down their food as soon as it lands on their table might not need to worry given that the Queen has been known to push a morsel of food around on her plate to allow people to finish.Last week, the official document signed by The Queen granting permission for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry was released, incorporating the symbols of America onto traditional vellum to represent the bride.The ornate Instrument of Consent, the official document confirming the approval of the Queen, features emblems for Ms Markle including a rose, the national flower of the United States, two golden poppies from her home state of California, and olive branches adopted from the Great Seal of the United States.   Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? 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