Harper’s carbon tax smokescreen

Paul Wells on the Tories’ NDP smear campaign

by Paul Wells

Harper’s carbon tax smokescreen

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

The Conservatives could not possibly have made it more obvious that they were itching for a week’s worth of headlines about the NDP’s environmental policy. They could not be happier that the NDP has obliged them. Eventually the NDP will figure all of this out.

On Sept. 2, Ottawa newsrooms received copies of “a memo from Conservative campaign manager Jenni Byrne to the Conservative caucus.” I put that last bit in quotation marks because Byrne, like her predecessor Doug Finley, doesn’t ever “write to the caucus” unless she wants to see what she writes appear in the newspapers. Leaking a “secret memo” is cheaper than buying ad space and guarantees better play.

Byrne’s message to Canadians was that it was “important to ensure Canadian middle-class families understand the threat posed by Thomas Mulcair’s risky and dangerous economic plan.”

Ooh. Which threat? “The centrepiece of Mulcair’s economic plan is a carbon tax. Canadian families know that a tax on carbon is a tax on everything and therefore a tax on everyone,” Byrne wrote. “Mulcair’s carbon tax will kill jobs . . . increase food prices . . . increase gas prices . . . In short, it means fewer jobs, higher prices, and fewer opportunities.”

Byrne’s memo was about nothing else besides the Conservative claim that Mulcair wants a carbon tax. (He doesn’t. I’ll get back to that in a minute.)

Now, Mulcair is a clever fellow, so for a few days he didn’t say anything about his environmental policy at all. So three days after Byrne’s memo, Ottawa reporters received a paragraph of quotes from Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver about, well, guess what. “The NDP’s carbon tax is a direct attack on the jobs of almost one million Canadians,” Oliver was said to have said, “and we simply cannot afford it.”

Still Mulcair kept his cool. So on Sept. 6 it was Finance Minister Jim Flaherty spamming the press gallery with warnings about “the dangerous economic schemes and the higher taxes proposed by Thomas Mulcair.”

Still Mulcair didn’t bite. If there’s one sure way to keep the government on the defensive, it’s to make sure it’s the government that’s defending, not the Opposition. On Sept. 16 on the Global TV show The West Block, Tom Clark asked Mulcair the NDP’s priority for the fall. “The economy,” the NDP leader said. “Jobs.” And he did talk about that, right up until Clark asked him about this carbon tax business.

“You know, that is an ethical issue that Stephen Harper is going to have to deal with,” Mulcair said, “because he knows his MPs are lying when they say that.” If Harper has “an ounce of ethics,” he’ll call off his MPs, Mulcair said.

There is something to this. Quite a lot, in fact. Mulcair prefers a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. There is much debate over whether that would be better than a tax, but it is not a tax. Well, it does cost businesses that emit a lot of atmospheric carbon money, and the money, in most models, goes to the government. But it’s not a tax. Mulcair and the rest of the NDP opposed Stéphane Dion’s Liberal carbon-tax proposal in the 2008 election campaign, as indeed Dion opposed Michael Ignatieff’s carbon-tax plan during the 2006 Liberal leadership.

Why oppose a carbon tax? “We thought it hurt families in many regards and that it was regressive,” Mulcair told his interviewer.

It is also true, as Mulcair was eager to point out, that Harper’s Conservatives proposed a cap-and-trade scheme that more closely resembled the NDP’s plan than the Liberals’ in 2008. And reporters hurried to add that Jim Prentice, when he was Harper’s environment minister, tabled draft papers in 2009 aimed at “establishing a price for carbon in Canada—something that has never been done before in this country.”

“Lying” is, in fact, a good word for what the Conservatives have done on this file. So the government apologized and said it had been dishonest about its opponents. Just kidding! No, the government kept piling on. On Tuesday they even put out a press release quoting Mulcair to the extent that carbon taxes are regressive and saying that, “by his own admission,” Mulcair was backing a regressive tax, when in fact—in the world of truth— Mulcair had been explaining why he opposed a carbon tax.

In favour of a cap-and-trade system.

Which would increase producers’ costs while augmenting government revenues.

Perhaps by now you see what’s going on.

The Conservatives’ only goal this autumn was to mire the NDP, who have been having altogether too good a year, in quicksand up to their waists. It is now clear that Harper promised cap-and-trade, which feels a lot like a tax, in 2008 and didn’t mean it. And that Mulcair now promises cap-and-trade and means it. MPs spent the week debating the cost of an NDP government, not its benefits, not the cost of Harper’s.

It would be excellent if the government would be more honest. But Jean Chrétien promised to scrap the GST, Paul Martin was for loyalty to party leaders, Dion said a coalition with the NDP was not for him. Voters tend to take claims of higher integrity at a heavy discount.

If you’re explaining, Ronald Reagan once said, you’re losing. Tom Mulcair loves to explain things.




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Harper’s carbon tax smokescreen

  1. harpo and his Cons are SCUM!!!

    • And people wonder why the thoughtful commenters don’t hang out here any more.

      • Thoughtful commenters don’t hang out here any more because what is the point of thoughtful commentary on an article that paints everyone with the same brush? “Everyone lied about everything” – great, thank you Mr. Wells. I will now offer my thoughtful commentary on your article. Let’s try – “That’s a gross oversimplification, finding out a promise is not feasible after taking office and looking at the books while you’re in government (Chrétien and the GST) is not the same as pretending you didn’t promise something in the first place (Harper and pricing carbon)” – oops, can’t say that, it makes me a partisan hack.
        Uh, ok, well I could point out that another “everyone is dishonest, don’t trust anyone” column is counterproductive and further erodes public confidence in our democratic process – oh nope, you’ll just tell me you’re a journalist calling it like you see it. Oh good, I’m glad we’re not responsible for the effect that our writing has on the political discourse (I look forward to your 2015 column lamenting low voter turnout).
        Well then, I could avoid commenting, because this is not a real two way conversation (no matter how you frame it) or I could post a slogan and say someone is scum.

        • “Voters tend to take claims of higher integrity at a heavy discount”

          I think you missed the point, If this statement is in fact universally true then the tories are relying cynically on it being either short term or being deflected since all parties are guilty of it; It’s their strategy IOWs. Incredibily cynical and scummy but not illegal. I don’t see it as an endorsement, neither does Wells.[ he says so] I think you’re shooting blanks at the messenger.

        • Your comment that “thoughtful commenters don’t hang out here any more” puts in mind Groucho Marx’s remark that he wouldn’t join any club that would have him as a member.

          So, welcome to the “thoughtless commenters’ corner”. On the evidence, you fit right in.

      • And people wonder why the thoughtful commenters don’t hang out here any more.

        OUCH! That stings.

  2. I’m not sure I would place the NDP’s cap and trade policy in the same category as Dion’s 11th hour configured Green Shift (or “Richard Peregrino” if you are on a first name basis). It doesn’t appear to be as central to their platform as it was to Dion’s. Well, as we sit in 2012.

    So, I’m not sure the “Tories’ NDP smear campaign” will be successful. At this stage, it looks to me to be a rerun of an old playbook. Worth a try for a week or two, I suppose.

    How about a pooping penguin? Oh yeah, wrong hemisphere.

  3. An interesting trend I have noticed. Media sure does like justifying things Stephen Harper (ptui) has done and is doing by blaming the Liberals.

    Can never let him stand in his own filth can you? Also have to obscure the picture by saying the Liberals did it to (even when they have not come close debasing our political institutions the way Harper (ptui) has).

    What you guys afraid of? Why is Stephen Harper (ptui) not allowed to stand alone with the decisions he makes?

    • What makes the “Liberals did it, too” rationalization so offensive is that this bunch campaigned as the anti-Liberals and rode into the capital on their white horses self-righteously promising to put an end to such crass, opportunistic, power-hoarding behaviour.

      So the actions of this government are more reprehensible because they are shamelessly hypocritical in the extreme.

  4. We have a carbon tax in BC, lest anyone forget. Brought to us by the “Liberals” aka the conservative party currently governing BC.

  5. It doesn’t look like Mulcair is going to be a punching bag like Dion and Iggy were. They either couldn’t or wouldn’t address Harper’s sleazy and slanderous attacks. But the reality is, no matter how ridiculous the accusation, it has to be stood up to. It’s like a person in a social situation who shrugs off slights. He just ends up looking like a loser. People need to have confidence in their leader.

    The political arena is a virtual blood sport built up from primitive origins. When Harper savaged Dion in the media, Canadians didn’t feel sorry for him. They agreed with Harper: he *isn’t* a leader. (Which gave Harper sleaze-momentum against Iggy.)

    Both Harper’s and Mulcair’s weakness is the economy. So Mulcair has to keep pounding and pounding on Harper for all the serious problems that have emerged under his watch. This way Mulcair will gain confidence and Harper will lose. (Mulcair will also have to go far out of his way to cast off the socialist label. His NDP must be centrist liberal in the minds of Canadians.)

  6. “In favour of a cap-and-trade system.

    Which would increase producers’ costs while augmenting government revenues.

    Perhaps by now you see what’s going on.”

    Not to give the Tories an ounce of voluntary credit . But SG did a pretty good job of explaining why there really isn’t much difference. Both schemes aim to put a price on carbon.[ a good] I find the NDP clinging to this idea that theirs [or the Tories for that matter - we didn't book revenue!!] is a kinder gentler tax to be almost as comical as the Tories tenuous grip on reality. I’d like to know why Mulcair thinks it’s regressive[ beyond political cover for him].
    It’s interesting to see all the various leaders have drawn a distinction between the two “taxes”, which i don’t think reflects well on any of them, at least in hindsight. “But it isn’t a tax” is a distinction without meaning.

  7. It hardly makes any difference whether it is a carbon tax or cap and trade. The former is simpler and easier to protect those with low-income, but you can protect low-income with cap and trade, which could be more efficient if one protects it from corporate gaming.

    Personally, I could not care less whether one calls cap and trade a carbon tax or vice versa for political reasons – the differences between these on the pocketbook of Canadians is not easy to establish and should be reasonably similar if the government doesn’t give away credits to companies. I would not give either Harper or Mulcair high marks for educating Canadians on these subtleties. The important thing is to include carbon pricing in one’s environmental platform.

    The fake fight over carbon tax versus cap and trade is politics – no one is honestly addressing the differences between these two systems.

  8. To frame this discussion you have to be honest about what the 2008 policy announcement was all about. from Reuters:

    More Reuters Results for:”conservative cap trade 2008″Party-hopper Crist aims to woo Florida independents for Obama
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    Canada wants North America cap-and-trade systeminShare0 Share thisEmailPrintRelated TopicsEnvironment »By David LjunggrenOTTAWA | Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:24pm EST “We will work with the provincial governments and our partners to develop and implement a North America-wide cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases,” the government said as it unveiled plans for the new session of Parliament.”We will work with the provincial governments and our partners to develop and implement a North America-wide cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases,” the government said as it unveiled plans for the new session of Parliament.Obama favors much tougher greenhouse gas reduction targets than those set by the Conservatives, and says he will start a cap-and-trade system.Environment Minister Jim Prentice told reporters that Canada’s policy in part reflected Obama’s election.Green groups said the Conservatives’ new positioning is largely academic as Canada would likely go along with whatever approach the new U.S. administration takes because the U.S. economy is around 10 times the size of Canada’s.”I think we will be forced into a North American-wide cap-and-trade system that will basically be dictated by Washington…. It’s the only system that can work. We’ve got an integrated economy,” said Stephen Hazell, executive director of Sierra Club Canada.”The conservative policy was to do what the Americans do. Kyoto was bad policy and doomed to failure from the start because the big emitters were either unwilling to sign or exempt from penalty.As our relatively puny economy is tightly integrated with the US, this policy is prudent. They have aped it with the CAFE regulations. Going forward nothing has changed. If an NDP government were to implement their agenda independent of US policy it would beyond doubt inconvenience and handicap Canadian business to the detriment of the economy and all Canadians.Cap and trade: Not a Tax: Revenue goes to government and cost is passed on to consumers. If it walks like a duck….

    • yikes that copy/ paste didn’t work. please delete:

  9. A cap-n-trade system for carbon IS a carbon tax, except the tax liability is tradeable.

    And yes, the Conservatives had a carbon tax cap-n-trade plan in their 2008 platform, when it seemed like a continental cap-n-trade system was inevitable.

    But with the European carbon cap-n-trade system in shambles and an abysmal failure, and shale natural gas in the US making an American cap-n-trade system in carbon unnecessary for another generation. As well, a cap-n-trade system in the US would stop the nascent reindustrialization of the US being brought about by cheap natural gas, and not even Obama and the Democrats are going to stop this now.

    Ohio and Pennsylvania are key swing states experiencing economic renaissances because of shale natural gas and shale oil.

    Without the Americans on board, cap-n-trade in Canada is economic suicide, which is sort of the real point the Conservatives are trying to make.

    • “…and shale natural gas in the US making an American cap-n-trade system in carbon unnecessary for another generation”

      Why? NG is still not a renewable or carbon free energy source. Are you suggesting it will completely displace coal for generating electricity?

      • The United States will use shale gas for electricity generation displacing coal, and ship the thermal coal to Asia. It will be a slow trend. The coal will be burned, just not in North America, which will be good for the air in central Canada. So if one is a global warming true believer, carbon emissions won’t be reduced in the world, but smog will be reduced in North America.

        Japan and Germany are phasing out nuclear. The coal will be burned. The wind and sun can’t provide the base generation for major industrial economies, at least for another generation, until they battery storage technology improves by an order of magnitude.

        The good news for climate change true believers is that the odds are still pretty good for a global depression, round 2.

        Japan and Germany phasing out nuclear also means any new climate treaty is essentially toast.

        Three supposed big supporters of global action to control carbon emissions, Japan, Germany, and the United States will no longer be favor of aggressive action.

        The United States, because shale natural gas means it can reindustrialize, in the Democratic blue states particularly, and because Japan and Germany need to replace massive amount of nuclear power relatively quickly.

        The rest of the world has moved to China, India, Brazil, and Canada’s side of lip service only.

        The NDP and the PQ are about the last two dupes left on the climate change train.

        It is why Harper has been willing to abandon the 2008 platform plank of a continental cap-n-trade, because it is off the table in the United States for a generation at least.

        • I doubt your gloomy prognoses has much validity to it. You’re totally over looking the evidence for dire consequences from unchecked global wamring/CC is likely to grab the publics attention throughout the democratic world, and eventually make its way onto the political agenda – it already has despite the best efforts of the denial industry. They may well be going to try and play mere lip service, but even laggards like Canada are going to have to get serious[ whether the business world likes it or not], once the writing on the wall has become inescapable.

          • Cap-n-trade was a Wall Street bankster scheme. Another Wall Street tax , a private tax, on the real economy. The next great scam after the mortgage scam. The next great step in the financialization of the US economy, and the enrichment of the plutocrats.

            Ain’t going to happen now, since Wall Street has to defer looting and pillaging the real economy and main street while they are reliant on printed money (QEunlimited) from the Fed.

            Even Wall Street knows that they have to let the real economy get healthy again before they can resume their looting and pillaging.

            The climate change hysteria is basically over. The Democrats and Republicans are going to be singing in unison about rebuilding manufacturing and the chemical industry in North America on cheap natural gas. When Wall Street was shipping all that industry to Asia, they saw a rigged carbon trading scheme as an easy sure thing. Now that the United States is going to reindustrialize, the climate change hysteria will wither away, not over night, but by the time for the next election in Canada, the NDP and the PQ will likely be the only people in the world still beleiving the nonsense.

            Notice already how Obama’s and the Democrats think tanks have already shut up about hydraulic fracturing during the election campaign.

            The rhetoric from the left and right on natural gas is slowly going to change from the evils of fracturing to the wonders that natural gas is going to do for reindustrializing America, and that natural gas displacement of coal will be sufficient to control emissions for the next generation.

            I think Harper already understand this, and is setting Mulcair and his yahoo media chorus up for the next election already.

            Mulcair and media types like Wherry et al haven’t realized that the cheese has moved. The train has left the station. That they are fighting the last war.

          • This is all supposition. Obama may be in a tough spot with CC considering the state of their economy but the CC issue is not going away. I don’t find most conspiracy theories credible. Whether it is wall street acting in concert like a family run mafia [ although i have my doubts ]or CC scientists making all this up just to annoy oil companies and sell lots of windmills. I live up North, where CC deniers are pretty thin on the ground these days. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the weather patterns have changed and likely will continue to do so.

          • Well said – you pretty much covered all the bases.
            In the US jobs will be #1 not CC.
            “Efforts to clean up one of the largest industrial polluters in Illinois will be delayed until the end of the decade after a state panel voted Thursday to give the owner of a massive downstate power plant more time to slash its lung-damaging emissions.

            The Illinois Pollution Control Board unanimously granted St. Louis-based Ameren a five-year reprieve from cleaning up its plant in Newton, 200 miles south of Chicago.

            Faced with increased competition from natural gas plants that have driven electricity prices dramatically lower, the company argued that it cannot afford to upgrade the Newton facility, the largest of its five Illinois coal burners. Doing so would force Ameren to shutter at least two of its other coal plants and lay off hundreds of workers, it said.”
            http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-coal-plants–20120921,0,7876948.story

          • When BC’s economy is going to be uber-reliant on LNG exports, with carbon emissions from the liquifaction plants making any BC carbon caps a joke, all under and NDP Dix government, it is going to be super interesting watching Mulcair run in BC on cap-n-trade.

          • Well there is some opinion that we have already missed the boat – the Australians are ahead of us and there may even be the possibility of a glut on the market.
            I’m sure Dix is aware of the difficulty. They may have to change the law in BC, but why would they have a problem rolling LNG emissions up in a national cap and trade programme? any more than they would the oil sands.

  10. The foreigners building LNG plants in BC are being exempted by all those so-called “environmentalists” from paying the BC carbon tax on carbon emissions from the LNG liquefaction facilities. Those LNG plants will obliterate any actual reductions in carbon emissions in BC.

    • Thanks for that. I was sure Christy Clark was still in charge in BC. There’s a debate, many enviros either aren’t happy or consider it the better choice if it takes a chinese coal plant off line. I don’t think it will displace anything. But thanks for pointing out how simple it all is when you can’t be arsed to tell the whole story or merely wish to make a one sided point.

      • Japan and Germany are phasing out nuclear in the medium term. The thermal coal will burn.

        Japan, Germany, and the United States (who can reindustrialize, using cheap natural gas) are in the lip service category on climate change, just like Harper and the Conservatives, and China and India.

        • Japan is in the market for NG if anything, not coal.
          Germany has far too much invested in the green economy to become mere fair weather fans of CC. Even China is ramping up their green economy much faster than NA.

  11. I think Mr. Harper is pretty sure he benefitted from 2 weeks of April 2011 gotcha headlines about his 2004 coalition talks.

    • Maybe. But in the long run he may come to regret it.

  12. Your analysis is missing one wildcard. Obama will win again and implement a carbon tax.

    • At which point Harper will be all over it, although he’ll still argue the oppositions schemes are job killing blah blah blah…and only he can be trusted to implement it .

      • The only point of implementing abusive carbon pricing that matches US policy is to keep our preferential access to their markets.

        • It had nothing to do with neutering Dion’s green electoral platform i suppose? Preferential access wasn’t even an issue in 08. At least i’m fairly sure it wasn’t up to bat yet.

  13. AGW is finished. Even James Lovelock admits that his predictions were alarmist and that adaptation is the sensible way forward.

    Nice try, Comrades!

    • Well that sure lets the denial industry off the hook doesn’t it!

      • What “denial industry?” I’m just a citizen who loves freedom.

        • Meaningless phrase.

        • Oh i don’t know, you figure it out, that’s what the internet is for.

          • Psst…not everything on the Internet is true.

          • You don’t say!

          • I do. Check out my blog for confirmation. :)

          • Sure. When i have the time. :)

          • Meh. All we need do is look at your comments for confirmation of that particular bit.

    • No, sorry….and I hafta tell ya that was REALLY lame, even for deniers.

      • “‘Adapt and survive,’” he says, when asked why he has decided to move.
        After more than three decades living amid acres of trees he planted
        himself by hand, he and his wife Sandy have decided to downsize and move
        to an old lifeguard’s cottage by the beach in Dorset. ‘I’m not worried
        about sea-level rises,’ he laughs. ‘At worst, I think it will be 2ft a
        century.’”

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/15/james-lovelock-interview-gaia-theory

        Enjoy.

          • I give you the UK’s leftist equivalent of The Bible and you throw back a link for a wikipediaesque conspiracy site?

            As an Internet sage once told me: “I hafta tell ya that was REALLY lame.”

          • ‘Sourcewatch’ investigates funding and backing of climate deniers….that’s how they know who is paid off by the oil industry

            Lovelock is 93…and most famous for his assertion that the Earth is a living being. He also has a long string of mistakes behind him.

            Use yer head dude

          • No, “Sourcewatch” is an anti-capitalist, left-wing, batsh*t crazy activist site.

            As for Lovelock, he’s an honest scientist. Beats the heck out of the “scientism” being peddled as science by the warmists.

          • Don’t talk to me again until the TGIF wears off.

  14. Maybe some one can answer a simple question for a simple boy[me] ?

    If you were SH why wouldn’t you just run with: we always intended to implement a cap ‘n trade in concert with the US. As this no longer feasible or likely to be in the near term we will not pursue such a policy. Consequently we regard the NDP scheme to be ill advised and likely to harm our economy and put us at a competitive disadvantage with out largest trading partner at a time of global.uncertainty..blah blah blah…

    Why all the moronic tps? I don’t see it advances his case against the NDP one jot or tittle than my summation. He may have doubled down on the NDP but i’m sure he hasn’t burnished his image anywhere else outside of certain quarters at the post.

    • Because they’re being manufactured in the PMO by a bunch of acne-blotched juveniles who work for little and think they’re important? I mean, there’s no evidence that this smart-assed prank is coming from mature, thoughtful adults who give a sh!t about anything except the insider stories they get to share with each other in some Ottawa bar after hours.

      • That’s very likely. But what does it say about the judgement of the “mature, thoughtful adults” who are supposed to be in charge? No, i’m pretty sure this has Harper’s MO all over it.

    • Well, they could be trying to avoid the talking point that their “made in Canada” solution was always going to be “sign on to whatever the Americans decide to do”.

    • http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/case-of-the-conservatives-carbon-amnesia/article4557581/

      Best and most obvious answer to my naive question: why can’t the cons just be straight with us on this one ie., things have changed in the US, so we don’t think it’s a good time right now for a carbon/cap’n trade tax. Clearly being able to free associate the phrase: “job killing carbon tax” with the NDP is too good an opportunity to let pass.
      I suppose Wells is right from a strategic perspective – don’t get sucked in. Nevertheless there’s something about this that sticks in the craw of anyone who thinks politics OUGHT to rank above used car salesman or nhl owner.

  15. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Cons have sown such confusion about carbon taxes, cap and trade, carbon pricing, etc, that they will continue to do absolutely nothing on this file for the duration of their time in office…which has been their intent all along, with this idiotic, farcical performance in the House.

    So, with respectful apology to Mr. Wells, who apparently chafes at the tone of the first comment here, I submit that the Cons are worse than scum…they’re POND scum.

    • No, they are the only adults in the room.

      • Wouldn’t the adult thing to do be to come out and say “We don’t want to put a price on carbon”?

        PRETENDING you’re going to do something, and then moving the goal posts every time another party is convinced that the thing that you were just proposing is a good idea isn’t “adult” behaviour.

        • I seem to recall Harper being clear that he would only move forward with the Americans.

          • Sure. I’ll give Harper credit for that.

            That said, the fact that the Harper government’s “Made in Canada” label was therefore TRANSPARENTLY hypocritical doesn’t make it any less hypocritical. In fact, to my mind, the fact that Harper and the Tories were pretty open about saying that they’d follow whatever the Americans decided to do at the SAME TIME as they were extolling the virtues of their (non-existent) plan as a “Made in Canada” solution is actually worse, not better.

  16. Can someone please tell me how i get this left wing cyber mag off my samsung? I keep getting sucked into reading these articles that are no more than the commentaries of those who reap the benefits of our economy while trying to undermine or destroy it followed by comments from the name calling liberal rabble

    • Perhaps you should get some willpower.

  17. Cap and trade could get messy once companies (and traders) find monetarily favorable holes in it. Add the costs of needing more bean counters to keep it respectable.
    A straight carbon tax will likely be forwarded to consumers but it’d be included in the cost of product. Let consumers decide if certain goods are still worth buying.
    Has a free market ring to it, doesn’t it?

  18. Fight back. Don’t fight back.
    I think Wells is saying Mulcair should have continued to lay low and not get drawn in. But playing the Dion/Iggy strategy sure didn’t work. Get some tough guys out there (not Mulcair who should stay above the fray) but let some NDP attack dogs go directly after Harper on his entire record. Every day.

  19. When it comes to the Global warming nonsense, Harper smartly talked the talk without ever seriously intending to walk the walk. So Jim Prentice, whether knowingly or not, ran around the country talking up green this and that. Nothing substantial ever came to pass (thank God), but the Tories “played the game”.
    Now that the NDP are bringing forth a cap and trade plan, we know that they are ideologically onboard with the global warming agenda, and we can legitimately disparage it at their expense…because it’s real and they mean it.

    Also, it’s been 3 years since Climategate and people care less about this nonsense than ever before. The goalposts have shifted to the Tories.

    • So you’re happy that they were lying to you.

      Man, you must have just loved what they were saying about the deficit then.

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