To be credible, a carbon pricing plan intended to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change should be national in scope, consistent in application and 100% revenue neutral.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon pricing plan, released last week by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, is none of these things.
It is a political fraud because it will not do the things the Trudeau government claims it will do.
It will not meet Trudeau’s emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2030.
What’s more, the Liberals know it won’t.
They know it the same way the Liberals knew in 1997, when former prime minister Jean Chretien signed the Kyoto Accord, establishing emission reduction targets the Liberals didn’t expect to achieve.
That was revealed a decade later by top Chretien aide Eddie Goldenberg, after the Liberals were out of power.
The reason Trudeau’s plan will not achieve Trudeau’s emission targets is that the carbon price it sets isn’t high enough to reduce Canada’s emissions to the levels the PM has pledged over the time frames he has set.
The Liberals know this from their own energy experts, who told them Canada’s national carbon price would have to be much higher than they have set it to be effective.
But to do that, without provoking a massive recession, would require the Liberal plan to be 100% revenue neutral, across the country.
That means returning all the money taken from Canadians through carbon pricing back to them in the form of tax cuts or, preferably, direct grants issued as regular dividend cheques, confirmed on an annual basis by the auditor general.
That would create a real-world market demand for low carbon intensive products, without massive public subsidies to the private sector, which are part and parcel of the Trudeau plan.
It would do this without increasing the relative cost of living of Canadians by hundreds of dollars annually, as Trudeau’s plan will, year after year, without effectively reducing emissions.
Trudeau’s plan allows participating provincial governments (at this point, all but Saskatchewan) to take increasing amounts of money out of the pockets of their citizens to spend on whatever they want, without lowering emissions to the levels promised by the Trudeau government.
It’s a cash grab, not an environmental policy.
Toronto Sun by Sun Staff
May 19th 2017