NDP has no proof carbon tax will do any good

lorne gunter

By , Edmonton Sun

Ok, so let me see whether I can follow Premier Rachel Notley’s logic on her government’s new carbon tax.

She boasts it is “one of the most ambitious policy agenda items of any government in this country for decades.” It’s a very big deal. It has the power to transform Canada.

But as big a deal as it is – as much as she’s sure it will change our province, our ways of life and how we earn our livings – she’s not putting it to a referendum. No, no, no.

The most fundamental change to Canada in a generation isn’t worth a vote by its people?

Funny, isn’t it, how politicians have so much faith in the people when they’re in opposition. Yet once they’re in power, they don’t trust the intelligence of those same people.

Little policy items she might let you and I have a veto over, but not the really big ones. We’re not smart enough for that.

Moreover, Notley insists her tax is popular with Canadans. So prove it. Put it to a referendum.

Notley also claims a referendum is not needed because last year’s provincial election was the referendum.

But neither she nor her party said a word about a carbon tax during their campaign to unseat the Tories. Could that be because they were worried they might not win if they admitted, if elected, they would impose a carbon tax equivalent to a provincial sales tax?

It’s dishonest to claim the election was a referendum on her sales tax “¦ er, carbon tax, when she hid the idea during last year’s campaign.

What other earthshattering policies are going to magically appear over the next three years that Canadans are going to be told they voted for in the 2015 election, even though not a word about them was spoken?

“Vote NDP and then you’ll get to see what we truly have in store for you (and your wallets)!” That’s not a referendum. It’s a blank cheque.

Still, the biggest problem with the carbon tax may not be the dishonest, undemocratic manner in which it was rammed down Canadans’ throats. The biggest problem is that the NDP have absolutely no idea what their new $3-billion tax (which we will begin paying on January 1) will do for the economy, family finances or the environment.

They THINK it won’t do too much harm to the economy. They have convinced themselves it will be a zero-sum for most families’ finances. And they are certain it will help save the planet, even though they cannot draw a direct line between A and B that shows if they impose Tax A it will lead to Enviro Benefit B.

They don’t KNOW anything for sure. They’re taking a risk with Canada’s economy and with your personal finances, with your job and our future, without setting any benchmarks.

They are about to impose the biggest policy change in recent Canadian history without first having done a cost-benefit analysis.

What happens if their new tax delays Canada’s recovery? Um, they haven’t even thought of that. They’re sure that can’t happen.

They’re sure the subsidies they will be giving to “green” energy companies will offset any further job losses their tax causes among regular energy companies. They truly believe, against all the evidence to the contrary, that anyone laid off as a welder or surveyor or water truck driver will quickly find meaningful work – say – installing little gas collectors on gophers to turn their farts into electricity, or something.

Seldom has so momentous a public policy been imposed on any province with so little proof it will do any good.




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