Don’t be duped by Trudeau’s carbon pricing plan

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BY , TORONTO SUN

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon pricing plan is exposed as a political fraud by its failure to explain how it will help achieve the government’s emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2030. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/PHOTO)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon pricing plan released Thursday by Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is a political fraud.

It will not achieve the government’s promised industrial greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2020 or 2030.

It will increase the cost of living for Canadians, adding hundreds of dollars to their annual household bills, year after year.

The plan says that by 2022, we will be paying an estimated 11.6 cents more per litre of gas alone, solely due to carbon pricing.

It omits that after that, we’ll be paying even more, as Canada’s carbon price continues to rise.

The plan is politically dishonest because of what it omits — that the cost of almost all goods and services will rise, because almost all consume fossil fuel energy.

If the price of gasoline goes up, the cost of food goes up, because it costs more to transport food to market.

So does the price of electricity, in any province that uses fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, to produce it.

So does the cost of home heating fuel, such as natural gas and oil.

Contrary to what the Trudeau government claims, it’s not “making polluters pay.”

It is making us pay because the “polluters” — meaning most industries — will simply pass along their increased costs to us.

There is no free lunch.

The Trudeau government is actually telling us that we are the polluters and that we must be punished for the sin of consuming the very goods and services it encourages us to consume to keep growing the national economy.

Trudeau’s plan is really a backstop for provinces that refuse to establish a carbon pricing plan of their own (Saskatchewan, so far) or that fail to meet the federal carbon price of $10 per tonne of emissions starting next year, rising to $50 by 2022.

Therefore, we will end up with an indecipherable and inefficient mish-mash of carbon tax and cap and trade schemes across Canada.

They will make our industries progressively less competitive with our major trading partner, the United States, which has no national carbon pricing plan and is moving away from one under Donald Trump.

Some of Canada’s plans may contain elements of revenue neutrality (where governments lower other taxes so that their net revenue from carbon pricing is zero) while others (see Ontario) won’t.

Trudeau’s plan is exposed as a political fraud by its failure to explain how it will help achieve the government’s emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2030.

Meeting Trudeau’s 2020 target means reducing Canada’s emissions by 109 megatonnes annually (a megatonne, or Mt, is 1 million tonnes) in less than four years.

Given current emissions, that would mean the equivalent of shutting down 100% of Canada’s electricity sector (79 Mt of annual emissions) plus 41% of the agriculture sector (73 Mt of annual emissions).

To reach Trudeau’s 2030 target, we have to reduce current emissions by 205 Mt annually, the equivalent of shutting down 100% of Canada’s transportation sector (173 Mt of annual emissions) plus 66% of the waste disposal sector (48 Mt of annual emissions), in less than 14 years.

The government’s own energy experts have said this won’t happen under Trudeau’s current plan.

And that exposes it for what it is — a cash grab masquerading as an environmental policy.

WHAT THEY SAID

Canadian Taxpayers Federation:

“By signalling its intention to impose the so-called Alberta model of carbon taxes on provinces which fail to impose their own carbon tax, the Trudeau government has abandoned even the pretense of this tax being ‘revenue neutral,’” said Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

It also contradicts senior Trudeau minister Ralph Goodale’s previous assertion that all revenue would stay in the hands of provincial governments, Wukdrick said in a release.

“Carbon taxes, whether existing or proposed, mean higher taxes for Canadians and their families, and harm to the Canadian economy, especially if jurisdictions we compete with do not have a carbon tax. Any reduction in emissions would be tiny on a global scale, and have zero impact on global climate change,” he said.

“The fact is, carbon taxes in Canada will simply not impact global climate change. This is a lesson other countries, such as Australia, have already learned, which is why they have scrapped their own carbon taxes.”

The Montreal Economic Institute:

The institute called on the federal government to lower taxes to offset the increased tax burden on Canadian households from the new carbon tax.

“To ensure that Canadians are not penalized financially, the government must make a commitment that carbon tax revenues will be fully offset by reductions in personal taxes. Revenue neutrality is the best way to mitigate the impact on the economy,” said Germain Belzile, Senior Research Associate at the MEI.

“The poorest Canadian households, as well as the middle class, are particularly affected by this type of measure,” Belzile added. “Yet, the prime minister has repeatedly said that he is concerned about the lot of the middle class. He has an opportunity to demonstrate this by committing himself to ensuring that carbon tax revenues are returned in full to citizens’ pockets.”

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