In 2004, Dion was made Environment Minister and he earned high praise for his work chairing the U.N. Climate Change summit in Montreal in 2005. Green party leader, Elizabeth May when as far as to call him a "very very good environment minister."
In April 2005, as Environment Minister he unveiled his "Project Green" to combat climate change.
April 7, 2006 he officially entered the leadership race. His leadership campaign was referred to as the three-pillar approach. This approach focused on social justice, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability, and a claim that a combination of these pillars would bring Canada into the 21st Century. He said that his campaign would focus on sustainable development of the economy and creating a "hyper-educated" Canadian workforce in order to compete with China.
During the campaign federal NDP leader, Jack Layton described Dion as "A man of principle and conviction."
On the fourth ballot, Dion captured 54.7% of votes cast and was declared the 11th leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Shortly after Stéphane Dion was elected as the leader, the Liberal Party experienced a sudden surge in their poll numbers.
On November 8, 2007, Dion released a policy plan, that he compared to the United Kingdom's Labour Party under former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Dion mentioned that his party will tackle poverty in Canada in order to create a "greener", "richer" and "fairer" Canada. He set up targets to reduce general poverty by 30 percent and child poverty by 50 percent as well as helping working families with work rewards and also increasing the Canada Child Tax benefit, increasing guaranteed revenues for seniors.
In January 2008, Dion and Ignatieff went to Kandahar, Afghanistan to visit a provincial reconstruction team. The visit was supposed to be secret, but was leaked to the public by Conservative junior minister Helena Guergis. After his return, Dion angrily criticized Guergis' action, saying that she put him at risk for being attacked by the Taliban. In a letter to Harper, Dion demanded Guergis' resignation or firing, saying that Guergis committed a "gross breach of Canadian security" that raised doubts about her fitness for Cabinet. (See her 2010 scandal)
2008 federal electionEdit
In 2008, as part of a measure for cutting greenhouse emissions he called for a carbon price. He also praised a similar measure introduced and approved by the British Columbia government in the 2008 provincial budget as well as the province of Quebec that introduced a carbon-based tax which revenues will be used for green technologies.
In June 2008, Dion unveiled the new policy called The Green Shift and explained that this tax shift would create an eco-tax on carbon while reducing personal and corporate income taxes. He stated that the taxation on carbon would generate up to $15 billion per year in revenues to offset the reduction in income tax revenue.
Sadly in the October 2008 election the large number of left wing political parties in Canada led to the Liberals not winning the election. Although the parties with left wing views (Liberals/New Democratic Party of canada ) won more seats, than the Conservative party but were not united.