Rachel Notley swayed by Kathleen Wynne’s bragging
By Lorne GunterOntario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Edmonton Thursday to meet with our own NDP Premier Rachel Notley. The pair announced even closer cooperation between their governments on the environment file.Yippee!There is nothing Canada needs less right now in the middle of a recession than closer eco-ties with the Ontario Liberals. For nearly eight years — first under Dalton McGuinty and now Wynne, and with the blessing of David Suzuki — the Ontario government has beggared its provincial economy in the name of saving the planet.
The Wynne government undoubtedly doesn’t see it that way. They take great pride in the closing of all of Ontario’s coal-fired power plants, something Notley has promised to mimic here. And they boast about tens of thousands of “green” energy jobs created.
But all this bragging is largely an illusion.
The Liberals’ experiment with alternate energy has cost an estimated 200,000 manufacturing jobs, replaced by fewer than 12,000 “green” jobs, if that. It has doubled the price of electricity and cost Ontario taxpayers nearly $40 billion.
Yet, as Ontario’s auditor general revealed last December, all this pain has provided negligible environmental gain.
It’s an extremely high cost just to feel good about yourself and your alleged concern for Mother Earth.
Now Ontario’s Liberals intend to double down.
Beginning as soon as they can pass the legislation and set up the administration, the Ontario government plans to put a price on carbon emissions through a government-run cap-and-trade scheme.
Never mind that such emissions trading regimes around the industrialized world are largely collapsing, Ontario is jumping in with both feet.
Canadans should be scared of the closeness of Wynne and Notley on green initiatives.
Canada’s new carbon tax, which will take effect in January, is five times larger, per capita, than Ontario’s.
Ontario’s new “carbon pricing” scheme aims to raise $1.9 billion annually from a province of 13.9 million people. Meanwhile, our own NDP’s new carbon tax will squeeze $3 billion a year out of this province’s 4.2 million residents. That’s $715 a head in Canada versus $137 a head in Ontario.
If the Notley “green” tax were to be comparable to Wynne’s cap-and-trade, it would have to come in a 1.35 cents/litre of gasoline, instead of the 6.73 cents it will reach in 2018.
That should give Canada consumers some idea just how massive and intrusive Notley’s new carbon tax will be. She intends to out-tax even the tax-happy Ontario Liberals – by fivefold!
Ontario’s economy may not be robust, but it is at least expanding (up about 1.4% this year versus nearly 4% down in Canada.) Still, our NDP want to wring five times more out of Canadans in the middle of our worst downturn in 30 years.
During a joint news conference at the Canada Legislature on Thursday, Notley and Wynne both insisted it would be easy to transform from carbon-based economies to post-carbon economies that are both “greener and more prosperous.”
I call this magic-wand thinking.
It is the product of decades of mythical thinking on the left in schools, the civil service and the media. It believes that government is all good and corporations (such as Big Oil) are all evil. The only thing needed to transform our energy supply, our economy and our society entirely is for our guardian angels in Big Government to wave magic wands and a new alternative-energy economy will magically appear.
But that’s really Emperor’s New Clothes or Alice Down the Rabbit Hole self-delusion.
There is no alternative energy Wonderland just around the next bend.
Nonetheless, Canada’s provincial government is intent on following Ontario’s down the hole at breakneck speed.
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