Peter Kent, PC, MP (born July 27, 1943) is a Conservative member of parliament for the riding of Thornhill, and the current Minister of the Environment in the 28th Canadian Ministry. Previously, he was Deputy Editor of the Global Television Network, a Canadian TV network. He has previously worked as a news editor, producer, foreign correspondent and news anchorman on Canadian and American television networks.
Peter Kent is the son of the late Parker Kent (b. 1907), a long-time employee of the Southam Newspaper Group who retired as associate editor at the Calgary Herald. His younger brother, Arthur Kent, is also a journalist, known in the first Gulf War as the "scud stud" and Madam Justice C. Adele Kent of the Alberta's Queen's Bench. Born in Sussex, England, the family moved to Canada and settled in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
Kent has been married to Cilla, a former print journalist with South Africa's Argus newspaper group (a Cape Town paper now part of the Irish-based Independent News & Media) for over 26 years. They have a daughter, Trilby who published her first novel, Medina Hill, in October 2009.
In the 2006 federal election, Kent ran as the Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's. He placed second with 25.76% of the vote against the incumbent, Carolyn Bennett of the Liberals (50.25%), and ahead of Paul Summerville of the New Democratic Party (19.19%). Kent ran again for the Conservatives in the 2008 election, this time in the riding of Thornhill, and was elected, defeating incumbent Susan Kadis by 5200 votes.
In an interview with journalist Steve Paikin on December 9, 2009, Kent acknowledged that as Minister, he is instructed to only use language vetted by the PMO, on occasion lifting Stephen Harper's statements from newspaper reports: "So when we’re asked about the Israeli position on settlements, we never criticize Israel publicly.
We say those settlements are 'unhelpful' in finding a comprehensive peace settlement. We’ve put on the record our position on nuclear power and India. We say 'it’s no longer the 1970’s, it’s now 2009.' I saw the prime minister’s quote in the newspapers to that effect yesterday, and so I used it today."Kent's comment that his government does not criticize Israel publicly was contradicted several months later by his senior minister, Lawrence Cannon, who went on record in the House of Commons "condemning" Israel's expansion of illegal settlements.
In a cabinet shuffle on January 4, 2011, Kent was named Minister of the Environment.His participation at the U.N. Climate Change Summit in Nov. 2011, has been controversial as it has been noted Canada plans to withdraw from the Kyoto protocol and is urging other countries to do the same - even though Canada is among the top 10 GHG polluter nations.
As a result of Mr.
Kent's performance at the Durban conference, including his stated intention to withdraw from Kyoto, opposition politicians raised objections during the December 14, 2011 session of the Canadian House of Commons. In response to one of Mr. Kent's comments, MP Justin Trudeau was heard to call Mr. Kent a "piece of shit," in contravention of established decorum of the House.
April 5, 2012