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The winner of the silly comment of the day..

…goes to none other then (surprise, surprise) John Baird, our Minister of the Environment, for issuing this statement this evening with regards to The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy recommending quite strongly that a Carbon Tax be implemented:

As for a carbon tax, said Baird, “a new tax sounds like a Liberal idea to me.”

Reason #1 for it being a silly comment:

Both Prime Minister Harper and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion have in the past rejected the notion of a carbon tax.

Reason #2: This Panel isn’t exactly full of hippies and tree-huggers issuing this statement:

The report was commissioned by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in the autumn of 2006 to set a long-term path for cutting emissions between 60 and 70 per cent from 2006 levels by the year 2050…The Sierra Club of Canada lauded the report, calling it “tremendously significant” that the round table “with its predominantly business membership has concluded that carbon emissions pricing is essential for Canada to meet its targets.”

Reason #3: Look at the other folks who approve the carbon tax idea:

They join a chorus of the country’s top economists and major banking institutions who say the only way to alter Canada’s emissions is to change market behaviour with a tax.

Either Baird has the inside scoop that all those folks are Liberals, (and I presume Harper didn’t go out of his way to appoint too many on his advisory Panel) or more likely he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and decided to try a lame partisan attack. I thought the Conservatives couldn’t do any worse then Rona Ambrose, but John Baird has made me think otherwise.

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6 comments to The winner of the silly comment of the day..

  • People at the local coffee shop and the lunch crowd were furious at the idea of a carbon tax.

  • ALW

    Chris – you’re right.  And I give the Green Party full marks for proposing it.  At the same time, the <i>realpolitik</i> of the matter is that many Canadians are fairweather environmentalists: they want a better environment, but they want someone else to pay for it.  As such, these proposals are political non-starters: which is why both Harper and Dion distance themselves from any policies that would actually see Canadians face serious cost impositions.

    The more serious question – and a non-partisan one, at that – should really be: how do we convince Canadians that it’s worth paying the cost of reducing our emissions now.  It’s a classic problem, really: how to convince people short term pain means long term gain.  And as anyone around politics will tell you: instant and tangible benefits almost always come out on top. 

  • Scott, just to be clear (though I think this is what you meant), Dion’s plan only supports the cap and trade side, not a carbon tax. Regrettably, the obvious and necessary combination of the two is only supported by the Green Party.

  • ALW:

    The point of this post, as you should be well aware, was what sillyness Baird was engaging in with his dumb statements.. not what plans I support.

    That said: I’d support a carbon tax, going hand-in-hand with a cap-and-trade system, such as what Dion outlined in his Carbon Budget Plan.

  • ALW

    This is eminently fair criticism.  I’m curious as to whether you think Dion should have rejected the idea also? I am guessing not.

  • Bailey

    David McLaughlin is the President and CEO of the Roundtable.  And here’s his bio:

    http://www.nrtee-trnee.ca/eng/overview/staff/McLaughlin-David-eng.htm 

    Lots of links to the Conservative Party there, even a stint as Chief of Staff to Jim Flaherty for almost a year and a half. 

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