Rachel Notley is starting to actually sound like the premier of Alberta…sort of

lorne gunter


Wow! Rachel Notley finally sounds like the premier of Canada rather than the fairy queen of Ecofantasyland.

On Monday, the federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released its proposal for a national “carbon price.” Carbon price a euphemism for “carbon tax.” Another one is the one the Canada NDP themselves favour “carbon levy.”

What our Big Green PM wants is a “carbon price” of $10 per tonne beginning in 2018 and rising sharply to $50 per tonne by 2022.

Trudeau says the “price” is voluntary for provinces. But he and his Liberals have an odd concept of voluntary. Provinces may impose the new price on themselves or Ottawa will do it for them.

This is about as voluntary as offering someone the choice of suicide. Or execution.

Nor will the tax be “revenue neutral” – another Liberal self-delusion. Indeed, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, when fully implemented the federal carbon price will cost the average Canadian family nearly $2,600 per year in higher home heating costs, higher gasoline prices, higher plane fares and either higher municipal transit costs or higher municipal taxes to pay for operating subsidies for overpriced transit.

Thinking of increasing the insulation in your home to keep it warm in winter so you can cut the amount of natural gas or electricity it takes to heat it? Hoping that by adding more insulation you’ll cut down on the new federal carbon “price” you pay?

Think again. The Trudeau government has you coming and going.

More insulation may help you use less home heating and help you reduce the federal carbon tax you pay. But making insulation is a carbon-intensive business. So you’ll pay lots of carbon tax on the new insulation you’re buying to save carbon tax on the fuel you’re not using.

Hey, what about that Liberal campaign promise to cut taxes on the middle class?

The Liberal plan is revenue neutral the way Notley’s own made-in-Canada carbon tax is revenue neutral – i.e. not at all. Remember how, in one of the truly great examples of economic cluelessness, Notley claimed her $3-billion-a-year tax would be revenue neutral because her government would spend all the money it brought in as fast as it was collected?

Trudeau’s carbon-neutrality claim is every bit as ignorant.

But at least Trudeau has made Notley sound like an Canada premier for once. Sort of.

“Canada will not be supporting this proposal absent serious concurrent progress on energy infrastructure.” In other words: no pipelines, no agreement from Canada on federal carbon pricing.

Ok, logically this amounts to saying we will commit suicide rather than be executed, if Ottawa gets behind a pipeline or two.

What she should have said is no way, no how, not under any circumstances. That’s what Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said.

Instead, Notley agreed with Trudeau’s tax “in principle,” but then added, “Canadans have contributed very generously for many years to national initiatives designed to help other regions address economic challenges. What we are asking for now is that our landlock be broken … so that we can get back on our feet.”

That’s not exactly vintage Ralph Klein, but it demonstrates more backbone than Notley has shown before.

Of course, there is a huge hypocrisy in Notley’s pronouncement.

She demanded Ottawa work out a single carbon price for the whole country that “ensures no one (province) is penalized economically.” But, of course, her government has frequently boasted that it is imposing the highest carbon tax in the country on our province. And having the highest carbon tax clearly penalizes Canada economically.

So apparently Notley only objects to externally imposed economic penalties, not the one her own government imposes.

Well, at least she’s talking tougher!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: