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Don’t let facts get in the way of your fearmongering.

Facts can be so inconvenient sometimes:

Liberal officials say a large portion of carbon tax would be collected in Alberta, given that Alberta companies emit more than 40 per cent of carbon emissions from major facilities in Canada. Many of those are oil, gas and mining facilities. In the fourth year of their plan, the tax would be $40 per tonne of emissions, with the 700 large final emitters across Canada – heavy industry and power plants – paying the majority of an estimated $15 billion tax revenues. Alberta’s share of income tax cuts, aimed in part at offsetting higher home heating and other prices as the tax is passed onto consumers, will also be high because Alberta is the wealthiest province, Liberals say

Interesting concept.. the province that would likely be the most affected initially by the Green Shift would also get the largest income tax cuts to their province because of that. That doesn’t appear to me like the Liberals “screwing” Alberta, but acknowledging that and making sure the populace receives the most tax relief in the “shift ” part of the program. I’d imagine that citizens of Saskatchewan would see a similar benefit as well.

But hey, don’t let me get in the way of some of your persecution complex out there, both on the blogs and with now apparent de-facto new Environment Minister Jason Kenny trying to fan the flames of regionalism. I mean, why let some facts get in the way of some good old-fashioned hyperbole?

[email protected]:55am: This article by Carol Goar in the Star today makes me confident a majority of Canadians will not fall for the fearmongering: that they are determined to change their behaviour to help the environment despite the potential economic downturn we may face as a nation, with this key line in the piece showing some polling evidence:

Canadian pollster Angus Reid, who has seen the environment peak and wane in public opinion many times, detected a fundamental shift in the nation’s values about a year ago. He’d never interviewed so many Canadians who had made up their minds to change their behaviour. The consensus spanned generations, socio-economic classes and regions (except Alberta). “This time, it’s real,” he said. “Our culture is going to change.”


14 comments to Don’t let facts get in the way of your fearmongering.

  • Mike,

    You have quite a few facts wrong.

    The Green Shift would be implemented over four years, with the tax ramping up gradually, $10/tonne per year, ending at $40/tonne.

    The Dion Green Shift tax cuts are across the board, and includes a corporate tax cut. There are tax credits for low incomes families with children, and for corporations which R&D emissions reducing technologies. Corporations can also write down emissions-reduction equipment faster.

    Taxing carbon has to happen, and every political party has one plan or another for doing so. Harper himself has a carbon trading system announced this past March for which they are being written up as we speak. There are no tax cuts related to it, and it will also be passed down to the consumer. It targets a 20% reduction by 2020, same as the Green Shift.

    Global warming is real, and we have to start doing something about it. We are already paying the costs of inaction.

    I hope most Canadians are smart enough to realize this.

  • Mike Harris

    Where in this plan is the targets they hope to achieve?? You say that corpoations will avoid the tax by reducing? And this is going to cost major corps billions to do so and who is going to bear rhe cost… think they are going to spend billions to reduce yet not pass the cost along? So the cost of goods goes up…consumers pay more and then we get slapped with a carbon tax along with that and i see bad things for our economy. Dion says the tax savings..oh and just for lower income canadians will take place over a 4 year period? So in the meantime where is the 45 billion going to go that he has collected? To me this looks like a typical liberal tax grab that he has dressed up to look like he is going to be the saviour of the worlds eco system. Sad really. I just hope that most Canadians are smart enough to realize this

  • “What I want to see is what good this is going to do except take money from corporations and give taxayers a modest break. ”

    Corps will avoid the tax by reducing emissions. This will allow them to pay less tax, increasing profits.

    This will not trash Canada’s economy. it’s really just about $15 billion being added to the wholesale cost of some products via a tax, and then that tax money being distributed to consumers (mostly — there’s a corporate tax cut) to keep the cost borne by the corporation. This creates an impetuous by the corps to find ways to reduce that cost. Swinging $15 billion around in a $1 trillion economy will not ruin Canada.

    This has been done in other countries with success before, Sweden did it during an economic downturn, with success.

    Stephen Harper’s plan is to introduce carbon trading, which will increase corps’ costs, and will not lessen the impact on consumers. Carbon will be necessary soon enough, and is in the Liberal’s policy book, but it is a laugh to see Harper essentially claiming that his own plan is “crazy.”

  • Mike Harris

    What I want to see is what good this is going to do except take money from corporations and give tax[ayers a modest break. The libs line their pockets with new revenue(if they get elected) and the pollution still goes on. Then when the companies lose their profits and have to lay off thousands of workers because they have been carbon taxed to death then the liberals will have enough money to take care of all of us because they love to be the nanny state…i see all this as robin hood…the liberal steal from the rich to give to the poor. while the west is recording a major boom in their economy we in ont and the east are slowing down significantly> WE CANT AFFORD THIS RIGHT NOW. THis will totally trash the economy of all of canada. right now alot of our wealth comes from minerals and we cant trash it because our manufacuting sector is slowly falling apart. it is a difficult situation to make but now is not a good time.

  • (BTW, I believe it’s just the BC carbon tax that exempts exports.)

  • Grumpy… you live in Saskatoon? Well, no wonder you’re so cranky all the time. 😉

  • 300baud: I am seeking complete clarification on the matter. However, as you said, taxing exports is a problem.

  • 300baud

    Exports are not taxed for the emittions that went into their manufacture? That seems like a gruesome oversight, but I guess if we do not apply a carbon tarriff to imports, without this all the manufacturing would just move 150km south.

  • 40% of the revenue generated under Dion’s plan comes from Alberta and Saskatchewan.

    The extra that’s generated here won’t be coming from average Albertans, unless they drive 40 per cent more than everyone else. It will come from polluting corporations, owned by stockholders across Canada and the U.S. So it’s hard to argue average Albertans will be more out of pocket. And should these corporations, despite their own tax cuts, chose to pass costs on, it will be passed on to customers across the country, not just Albertans. So the criticisms seem to ring hollow.

  • Shell, BP and Suncor will also do well from the corporate tax cuts.

    Keep in mind, though, that the tax shift exempts exports. As most of the oil from AB is exported, it’s not clear how much AB will be affected.

    See for more.

  • Another point to remember: the oil industry is the one major emitter that won’t be able to pass the additional costs of a carbon tax on to the consumer. Why? Because unlike electricity an natural gas, oil prices are set internationally. They are affected by things like hurricanes and military coups – not a tax on a relatively minor source that amounts to a couple of bucks a barrel.

    Oil is probably the one sector that can most easily afford the added cost of a carbon tax. And it’s the one sector that is the least likely to pull out its investments in this country because, with oil reserves almost everywhere else having peaked or peaking now, there is really nowhere else to go.

    Albertans won’t get screwed – Shell and BP and Suncor will. And trust me, they can take it.

  • This is really simple: if a region wants to pay less of the tax, it should reduce its emissions. That way, it will benefit more from the tax cuts. That’s the whole idea behind tax shifting.

    It’s interesting what isn’t being said: carbon trading, which is what Harper is pushing, will also put a price on carbon emissions (an unfixed price determined by commodity trading) which will benefit lower emission regions at the expense of higher emission regions. And yet, for _some reason_ that isn’t upsetting anyone out West.

    The NDP’s cap-and-trade policy will do the same.

    Jack Mintz in a recent NP article pointed out that AB will benefit from the corporate tax cuts proposed at a rate of 2:1 compared to Ontario (AB has 25% of ON’s pop, but gets one-half the money from the cut ON does).

    And here’s another catalyst for trouble:

    4.5 million people (AB + SK) unwilling to significantly reduce their immense GHG footprint, leaving the other 28.5 million to do the work. If, as those provinces claim, a carbon tax is going to cause a net economic drain, then it seems that what is being asked is for the Rest Of Canada to subsidize AB and SK. how ironic.

    So, if a regionalist viewpoint is the way to look at things (and I refuse to think that way), AK and SK are the ones actually seeking a wealth transfer from the Rest of Canada.

    [I am a bit sympathetic to resource-based economies in this matter, but the need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions has been a long time coming.]

  • Whooee! Canajuns are sufferin’ from high fuel costs. Albertans are profiting from high fuel costs. Are Albertans not living the high life at the expense of every Canadian who fill s his gas tank?

    While 40% of the carbon tax would be collected from Alberta, most of that would come from the big oil outfits and not from the little guys. It is the tar sands operations that are responsible for the pollution and they will pay most. Up until and including now, the federal government lavishes $1.4 billion in corporate welfare to big oil and gas — as if they need it.

    Now, when a proposal comes out that would penalize big oil for using our shared atmosphere as a cost-free toxic waste dump, the Alien Alberts is up in arms. The rest of Canada should be up in arms at the way the Alberta Oil Sheiks are profiteering at the expense of Eastern Canada.

    I got news for Alien Alberts: we been subsidizing your sorryass oil industry to the tune of $40 billion over the past 30 years. If it weren’t for federal subsidies to big oil when the world price was low, the tar sands projects never would have got off the ground.


  • 40% of the revenue generated under Dion’s plan comes from Alberta and Saskatchewan. Pretty sure that’s what they call a transfer of wealth from an area where about 3 million people live to an area where the bulk of Canada lives. So, in short – 40% from 3 million and 60% from 27 million. Sounds like a catalyst for trouble from here in Saskatoon.

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