IAN GILL / MARCH 3, 2008 / MONTREAL – Vice-president Al Gore and President Ian Gill were in Montreal on the weekend, Gore having set out to do what no person has successfully achieved in more than a half-century: train Ian Gill.

The results are not yet in, but early returns indicate that Gore's message of the impending climate change crisis was sufficiently compelling that Gill decided to walk back to Vancouver rather than fly. He's not yet in, either.

But seriously folks, there's nothing like a very small room packed with 250 people, and one very larger than life vice-president, to bring into stark relief the need to – as Gore so eloquently put it – “redeem the promise of democracy.”

Of course Gore comes from a country that needs more redemption than most, but Canada's lamentable (federal) record on climate change policy did not escape his attention, or his ire. So it was that he was in Montreal to train Canadians from across the country on how to present the latest iteration of his Academy-award winning PowerPoint, "An Inconvenient Truth." He wants us all to inconvenience the federal government into actually following through on our Kyoto commitments.

On the other hand, Gore was full of high praise for Quebec, which has a carbon tax, and British Columbia, which has announced not just a carbon tax, but a cap-and-trade bill that, if legislated, will set hard limits (caps) on polluters, and establish a formal trading system for pollution offsets.

When asked what were absolutely critical actions that society must take to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Gore said: introduce a carbon tax; establish a global cap-and-trade system; introduce investment tax credits to spur innovation in renewable energy; and set up an information system that allows people to easily understand their personal carbon footprint so they can act to reduce it. By that measure, BC is already two for four – and far ahead of any other jurisdiction in North America.

One last thing. Gore also said it was really important to train Ian Gill … but by that point Gill had already left. It is a long road home – to Vancouver, and to Damascus.

For more information visit Ecotrust Canada’s Climate Smart, a service to help small business take action on global warming.

Suitably qualified to do so, Ian Gill is now available to present his own version of Al Gore's climate change presentation to anyone who asks. To book a presentation, please call Abby Yellen at 604.682.4141 x 222 or abbyy@ecotrustcan.org