No wonder the Harper government is against a carbon tax

Thu, 2008-09-04 10:12Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

No wonder the Harper government is against a carbon tax

After watching a video clip of Canada's Environment Minister trying to explain the ins-and-outs of a carbon tax policy, it is clear now why Harper government is so vehemently against a carbon tax policy in Canada - they don't know what it is.

Watch it:

Previous Comments

Can I say that here?

I hadn’t seen this before; I knew he was a lightweight, but this is amazingly inept.

Exactly. This is the Minister of the Environment and he cannot answer a simple question like what a carbon tax is or how much his government spending on climate-related programs.

If this was Baird’s response during question period, so be it, QP is a politicized arena. However, this was in a committee hearing where there is a reasonable expectation that Minister’s will respond in more detail. Baird also has available the advice of department staff at such committee meetings and he could have turned to them for the answers - but these were pretty reasonable and simple questions.

What is a carbon tax? Seems Dion is not sure either since he had to change it, and will have to change the “Green Shift” plan as more and more people realize they will get burned and want exemptions.

What a hapless dork. A shining example of warmists tending to be a bit thick irrespective of their political leanings.

Before the ridings were reconfigured a few years ago, this man was my “representative”. It finally drove me to put up a Green Party sign in my garden, after a lifetime of keeping my political leanings private during election campaigns. How he keeps getting elected is completely baffling – but he WILL be re-elected, make no mistake. And so will his little lap-dog, Pierre Poilievre (my new MP). They have a lock on rural Eastern Ontario.

BTW, Zog, don’t try to fob this fellow off on “warmists”. He’s one of YOU, right to the core, and would rather have the whole AGW issue fall into the Bermuda triangle. His ineptitude is due to his total lack of commitment to the core priorities of his ministry. He is there to advance the Party Line, not to deal with environmental issues.

Fern Mackenzie

Sorry Fern, but you can’t distance yourself from him that easily. He got his job partly because of his big mouth but mostly because he converted to the one true religion. His differences with Dion et al. are mostly tactical. He has different proposals on how to “solve” the non-existant “problem” but it’s the same old shit in a different pile.

Zog, what a bunch of stupid mush you are spouting. If you imagine Baird knows or cares about Canada’s environmental issues, you are completely out of touch with reality.

John Baird is a political opportunist of the first water. He has absolutely NO commitment to environmental issues, let alone any understanding of AGW, and was dropped into this portfolio as a pitbull – make that a Tasmanian Devil – to obfuscate the issue. I know this man, Zog. He was my MP. And whether or not you take the time to familiarize yourself with your rep’s views, I do. He is a Career Politician. Harper told him to make a mess of Kyoto, and by God he did it!

You would really have to live here in Eastern Ontario to get the gist of this, but make no mistake, Zog, Baird is one of you – a denier through & through.

Fern Mackenzie

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Yup, he is a career politician - no argument about that. He’s also a very typical warmist politician, bulling ahead with nutty schemes that will ultimately be very damaging to Canada’s social fabric and economy. Of course, he couldn’t do it without the approval of his Harperness. Flip floppers all.

Because I was stuck all those years with a person as my MPP and MP who did not represent my views?

Baird has no interest in or commitment to environmental issues, full stop. All he is interested in is being a member of the party in power, full stop. He will do or say whatever is necessary to enhance his political position, please, please stop.

And if Richard wants to slap my wrist for an ad hominem attack here, I will take it on the CHIN: John Baird is an international embarrassment, an intellectual featherweight, and an environmental disaster.

…” John Baird is an international embarrassment, an intellectual featherweight, and an environmental disaster.”

I agree wholeheartedly. A typical warmist politician who will say and do anything to advance “the cause” while burnishing his ego. Sort of like phoney Big Al but not remotely as successful and without Gore’s money-making smarts.

Replace Baird with Dion and the same applies. Look, no politician will be loved by everyone, for if that were to happen I would be highly suspecious of that politician. And I was with PET, Canada’s first communist PM.

Besides, it doesn’t matter what you think, you are just one vote like the rest of us. I had the very same feelings towards Liberals all those 13 years they were in power. Now it’s your turn to not like the government in power. Speaking of which any political party who thinks they are the natural governing party, ie the Liberals, deserves never to get in power again.

Oh please. PET the first communist PM? JR, when you make a statement like that, you speak volumes. Things are starting to fall into place.

Fern Mackenzie

You do know we was an active member of the Communist Party of Canada before joining the Liberals. His view was that if you cannot get your party into power, join another party and change it from within. That’s what he did.

If Baird is going to flip-flop, the least he could do is propose a substantial solution. I am with Fern, the Minister is trying to spin the issue to his and his party’s advantage - green tie and all.

although I had low expectations for Baby Huey when he was originally assigned the environment portfolio, he failed to achieve even them… That clip is rather dated now, but he really hasn’t done a bloody thing since - except try to play a leading role in undermining the talks in Bali!

It’s pretty bloody obvious that UNFCCC COP-15 in Copenhagen is going to be make or break time… and that the post-Bush USA is going to be a different party to the negotiations… meaning that there is rather good chance that Canada is going to be party to some rather significant international emission reduction targets… Now, as Baird says at the outset of the clip above - “Make no mistake, the era of voluntary compliance is over” - which suggests that to meet such targets the CPC has some inkling that they are soon going to have to implement some policy tool to achieve this… let’s see, what are the options… hmmm…. carbon tax, cap and trade, government regulation-monitoring-fines… am I forgetting any? And yet, they get to go into a federal election pretending that they AREN’T going to support any of those measures? Dismal politics…

If this is any sign of what the Harper government is really like, then we are screwed.

This IDIOT is our current environment minister.

He was an idiot when he was the Ontario energy minister and he’s still an idiot as the federal environment minister.
He was completely clueless in the provincial energy ministry, and now he shows that he is completely clueless in the federal environment ministry.

How can the Conservatives claim that a carbon tax isn’t a good idea when they don’t even know what it is?

So please enlighten us as to what a carbon tax is. Seems Dion is shifting his carbon shift tax.

BTW, as for Europe?

EUROPE FACES ANNUAL BILL OF €60 BILLION TOFIGHTCLIMATE CHANGE
Tony Barber, Financial Times, 4 September 2008

COAL MAY PLAY MAJOR ROLE AGAIN IN BRITAIN’S ENERGY MIX
Mark Milner, The Guardian, 29 August 2008

AS ENERGY CRISIS LOOMS, EU LAWMAKERS MULL REVERSING CLIMATE POLICY
Pete Harrison, Reuters, 28 August 2008

BRITAIN PAYS £20 BILLION TOO MUCH IN GREEN TAXES
The TaxPayers Alliance, 27 August 2008

BRITISH HOUSEHOLDS PAYING £800 TOO MUCH IN GREEN TAXES, SAYS REPORT
James Kirkup, The Daily Telegraph, 28 August 2008

JOB LOSSES HOT ISSUE IN CLIMATE POLICY
Keith Orchison, The Australian, 25 August 2008

AS CLIMATE TALKS RESUME, INDIA ACCUSES UN OF BIAS
Nitin Sethi, The Times of India, 21 August 2008

RUSSIA KILLS KYOTO II
Chris Horner, Planet Gore, 18 August 2008

POLAND WANTS TO BLOCK EU’S EMISSIONS TRADING
Business Week, 7 August 2008

EAST EUROPEANS FEAR CLIMATE POLICY PINCH
Anna Mudeva, Reuters, 28 July 2008

IPCC WARNS: CLIMATE TALKS FACE POSSIBLE COLLAPSE
The Economic Times of India, 19 August 2008

GORDON BROWN’S WORST NIGHTMARE: LABOUR IN FREEFALL
Philip Webster, The Times, 25 July 2008

DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE IN BRITAIN: LABOUR FACES BEING KICKED OUT OF OFFICE
Ray Massey, Daily Mail, 24 July 2008

DAMAGE LIMITATION: BRITISH GOVERNMENT TRIES TO WATER DOWN GREEN ENERGY LAWS
David Adam, The Guardian, 24 July 2008

GREEN TAX REVOLT: PRESSURE GROWS ON GORDON BROWN TO ABANDON CLIMATE TAXES ON CARS
The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2008

AUSTRALIAN TRADE UNION VOICES FEARS ON CARBON TRADING
Brad Norington, The Australian, 24 July 2008

EMISSIONS TRADING BECOMES A GLOBAL LAUGHING STOCK
Keith Johnson, WSJ Environmental Capital, 23 July 2008

And these are just a few of the HUNDREDS of articles I have on the economic and political problems in trying to deal with AGW.

If it was so simple to reduce CO2 then why didn’t the Liberals do it when they signed Kyoto? Simple question.

I think most folks here believe the Liberals had a terrible record on climate. Most probably also suspect that the Conservatives have been worse than the Libs would have been, but that’s not the point either. The point is that the current government sucks on this issue and it’s time to demand better. That’s why the Green Party has been getting more and more popular. They were the ones to promote the Green tax shift and the Liberals were the first to say, “we want your supporters to vote for us.”

How can you do worse than nothing? How can you do worse than pretending you would do something, sign the treaty, then do nothing? That’s far worse that what the Tories would have done which would have been not sign and then do nothing. At least that’s consistant.

Question on the “green shift”. If people get back more money on their income taxes than they spend on the carbon tax, where is that money going to come from?

Why should people in total get more money back? The ones who reduce their emissions most should benefit more than those who don’t. So I’ll get more back than I pay, but the jerk racing his truck up and down my street at night probably won’t.

You can do worse than nothing by sending politicians to Bali to get them to interfere with progress attempted by others; another way by saying they want more voluntary approaches but then scuttling programs to educate the public on the problem (not consistent).

You have grossly over simplfied the situation. First the Liberals are claiming people will get money back in income taxes. They are not saying who WON’T get money back and have to pay more. Why? Because the Liberals do not want to expose themselves to the ridcule they are starting to get.

Who will have to pay more? Those who have to buy fuels and other items that will get nailed in the tax and not have income tax to get back. Such as:

Provincial and Municiple governments. They use fuels to run their fleet of trucks and equipment. They will pay more in this carbon tax for those fuels. The only revenue they can get to counter that is through increasing your provincial taxes and land taxes. Thus you pay.

People who drive for a living. Truckers are already forcing Dion to change his “plan”, more will follow. He will end up with more and more back side deals of cash bailouts. You pay.

Companies who make things. They have to heat their buildings and pay for electricity. They don’t get a tax break at all. Thus they will pass along that tax in the products you buy. You pay.

Finally the biggest emitter of CO2 is not the Tar Sands, but concrete production. Concrete is in every building and road construction. Thus the price of cement and concrete will go up (such as for schools, churches, libraries, government buildings, bridges, infrastructure) and they only way these companies can make up the carbon tax is to increase the price of concrete. Which will get passed down to the user who will then pass it down to you in higher taxes.

Bottom line is that because CO2 is emitted for every single thing you do, you must buy, it will be YOU who ultimately pays for the tax. And that MUST be more than what you get back. Has to. Besides, how much money is it going to cost for the government to run this program? Billions like the gun registry? Oh, yes, and this is far more complex than the gun registry. You pay for that too.

Besides, this tax in no way will drop the amount of CO2 emitted in any meaningful way, if at all. Dion has not even come clean on how much CO2 will be reduced.

Yeah, governance is problematic and nobody should trust politicians. But that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be willing to consider tax reform. The carbon tax that I want facilitates a user-pay economy. This is the type of tax that big shot economists (head of TD Canada Trust, for example) say WILL make a difference. In fact, a carbon tax is touted as the best, most efficient way to make a difference. Search the pages of the Wall Street Journal (I’d provide a link but I have to get going right now and won’t be back for a week). Your “besides” is ignorant.

1) How will you know if the income tax reduction will be equal to the extra increases due to the carbon tax? How will you be able to verify it is neutral for you?

2) Will everyone get more back on income taxes than they pay in carbon tax, or will there be losers? Why are the Liberals not telling you who the losers will be?

3) Since municipalities do not get income taxes to be cut, and they will have to pay for the carbon tax, will they increase your property taxes? Same with provincial governments?

4) Lastly, if everyone reduces their FF use to pay less taxes, won’t Federal tax revenue drop? How will they pay for the tax cut?

5) if this is such an important tax to save the planet, why did Dion exempt gasoline from the tax?

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