PolitigationWatch: Colourless Green Ideas Shift Furiously


After spending most of yesterday trying to sort out the latest twist and turns in the Tale of the Tape, ITQ will be going a field trip this morning – to Liberal Party HQ in downtown Ottawa, where Green Shift, Inc. founder Jennifer Wright will “hand-deliver documents” to bemused party officials, which most likely means her Statement of Claim.

I guess that means she found a lawyer willing to take the case pro bono — or, alternatively, that the Green Shift Victory Fund — which, of course, has taken the exact same name as the Liberal Party’s recently launched Victory Fund — has has been even more successful than its creator – who describes himself as a “Canadian Conservative atheist” had hoped.

Anyway, after the photo-op at LPC Central, Wright heads off to the Hill, where she will hold a press conference to provide more details on her fight to “stop the Liberal Party of Canada from appropriating [the company’s] trade mark name [sic].”

Okay, so it’s probably not going to be as thrilling as the last time ITQ liveblogged from a party’s headquarters — or the time before that, come to think of it — but at least it’ll be a nice break from trying to figure out the layout of Dona Cadman’s front porch.

Oh, and in case anyone out there was worried — yes, GiornoWatch will return. Later today, in fact, as long as no political parties get sued, or raided, or prorogue Parliament.


PolitigationWatch: Colourless Green Ideas Shift Furiously

  1. There is no question in my mind that the Conservative party(Steve Harper) is backing this farce. Unfortunately if more freedom lover Canadians don’t contribute to the Liberal coffers then the Green Shift Victory Fund (Stevie boy) will once again trample our Canadian rights.

  2. Well, both Wright and Jago both insist they have no connection to one another. Be interesting to see if she’s willing to take any of the money he raises.

  3. I walked past LPC just now, and I cannot believe that the media is covering this ridiculous stunt.

    Is there seriously nothing more interesting/important than this going on?

  4. I cannot imagine how this lawsuit serves the company’s interests, unless the company feels it benefits from the resulting publicity it will generate via the lawsuit and its PR campaign around it.

    If this is the case, then instead of seeking damages, they should be paying the Libs for the free publicity.

    Anyway, I think it’s pretty obvious to any fairminded observer that the owner of this company has gone totally partisan on this.

    The Libs should countersue for having to respoond to yet another bit of vexatious, frivolous litigation.

    Or they can sit tight and be polite. The case will never make it to court.

    – JV

  5. I don’t think its ‘partisan’ of a company to not appreciate a political party appropriating their company’s name for a tax grab.

    I also don’t understand why Jennifer Wright should appreciate the publicity. I am guessing, if she has spent 10 years trying to build her company, that she is an environmentalist and might think Dion’s plan is little more than smoke and mirrors. There are lots of environmentalists out there who think Liberal plan does not go nearly far enough.

    I, too, am shocked that media is covering this but not for same reasons as other commenters. This can turn into David/Goliath issue and, generally speaking, people always want the underdog to win. The Libs are going to look bad and that’s why I am shocked the MSM is going to cover this topic at all.

  6. Garth has already said she has been “advised” by the NDP. This is going to blow up in her face big time.

  7. Why is the NDP working against the environmental concerns of Canadians?

  8. The NDP has realized that Canadian politics no longer has a place for the NDP.

  9. This is a woman who has built her business for 10 years and had contracts of 1.5 million dollars last year. I doubt that she is taking advice from any political party on this. She is doing what she believes is in the best interest of her business and I hope that whatever the outcome, she and her business suffer no irreparable harm because of the Dion’s tax plan that they are trying to market as an enviro plan.

  10. Well, hey, if Garth said so, it’s GOT to be true.

  11. Poor Jennifer’s been sold a bill of goods, not by the conservative party, but by blogging tories, a number of whom I saw creating comments along the lines of “I called and asked if her business had any relation with the Liberal party, explaining how I’d never do business with them,” No doubt they found this uproariously funny, but didn’t think how it might affect this woman if she really took these calls to heart.

    Hopefully she’s gotten some lawyer to take it pro-bono and it just gets dismissed without the court deciding that it’s a frivolous and vexatious suit. Considering that the term “Green Shift” has been in use for more years than Ms. Wright’s been in business, and considering that an Environmental Policy Plan is entirely different from a store selling environmental supplies, her odds of success are zero. I’m just hoping she’s not devoting significant resources from her business toward this.

  12. Catherine I can’t tell if you are being facetious. If you are not, many people of different ideologies don’t believe Dion’s plan is a good idea for a variety of reasons.

    I did the calculations at The Green Shift to see what would happen to my taxes under Dion’s plan. All the form wanted to know was my gender, prov I live in and annual salary. It turns out my taxes will go up $360. Why doesn’t plan care about whether I own a car, how much gas or electricity I use, how many fires I have in my backyard … etc.

    Is the $360 more I have to pay going to fundamentally change the way I live my life? No, it’s not.

  13. One can only hope that the LPC, after stealing her business identity, takes the high road and admits they were wrong.

    But this is the Liberal Party, the Party that still won’t admit any fault over the $millions stolen from ordinary Canadian taxpayers in the Adscam theft, so I won’t hold my breath.

    The LPC will likely just ignore her, much like Canadians are ignoring the morally superior bleatings of Steffi & his Green Tour ’08.

    He and his make believe Green plan that is really a way to fund a pile of social engineering programs will soon be dumped by the LPC.

    Iggy & Red Bob are just sitting back, waiting for the implosion.

    KABOOM . . . . can you hear it ??

  14. Chet… get some of your facts straight… She also has worked for the Liberals in Ontario, so this is not some grand NDP scheme to “get the Liberals”.

    And the NDP is not working against environmental concerns. They just have a plan of their own and happen to believe that Dion’s plan isn’t going to get the job done. This isn’t an all or nothing proposition.

  15. Well, at least now we have clear evidence that jwl is either a liar or can’t read.

    http://www.thegreenshift.ca/ doesn’t have any type of calculator estimating how much more you’d pay under the green shift — it can’t, because that depends entirely on your energy usage and purchasing decisions. It only has a calculator for how much tax you get back.

  16. T Thwim It turns out that I misunderstood what I was reading. So I pay $360 less than I do now but it does not care how much I pollute? As an environmental plan, that’s lacking. As a tax plan I am all for it!

  17. I wonder if all the Politicians who have jumped on the float at the front of the Transnational Environmental Industry’s parade are concerned about the fact that global warming stopped ten years ago ?

    The oceans are cooling, winters are colder, summers are cooler and sun spot activity, or lack of activity to be specific is heralding a long naturally occurring cooling phase.

    How many years of cooling will it take for the Environmental Emperors to be admit their magnificent suits are all for naught, that CO2 is plant fertilizer not “pollution”, to admit that the pursuit this false environmental god has sucked all the wind and money away from really serious environmental issues – can anyone say Mercury poisoning ?

    Tick tock, tick tock, how many years of global cooling will it take before reality imposes itself on the Big dream ??

    You can believe the planet or the IPCC models produced by all those riding the funding boom, but you can’t believe both.

    Too bad, so sad.

  18. Almost exactly right. You pay $360 less/year, and the price of pretty much everything is going to go up by some amount. Hopefully the price of the things you choose to buy will go up by less than that, meaning you come out ahead and the environment comes out ahead because those items would be the less polluting ones. Of course, the price of a Hummer is probably going to jump by considerably more than that, so it depends on your purchasing decisions.

    Now that you have a better understanding of the plan, we can talk. Personally, I think it’s lacking as well. I mean, it beats the hell out of a cap & trade system with all the added bureaucracy that brings in. But it’s not near aggressive enough.

    Myself, I was hoping that the bottom level of income tax would be cut by half or more, with that cut made up by carbon taxes, even though that kind of change would probably mean I pay a lot more than I get back. So though I disagree with Coyne on his screed about “It’s not revenue neutral because it doesn’t shaft the poor folk” I agree with him on the general assesment that it’s way too anemic a policy.

  19. Actually, T. Thwim, the carbon footprint involved in producing a Hummer is likely to be much less than for a hybrid vehicle. Meaning if you only drive a few kilometers a day, you are being better to the environment driving a Hummer than if you drive a hybrid vehicle.


    Explanation: Hybrid vehicles depend on batteries. The metals for the batteries make a trip all the way around the world before returning to Canada as batteries. Nickel mined in Ontario/Manitoba, refined once sent to Europe for further refining, sent to Japan for production into batteries, then sent to Canada for installation in your so-called “environmentally friendly” hybrid. Additionally, batteries have a limited lifespan, and will require replacement more frequently than the entire vehicle, thus adding to the “carbon lifecycle cost”.

    Please note, we are not talking about one little battery to start your engine. Hybrids and (god forbid) fully electric vehicles are stuffed with these, and the cost of batteries (and there round the world trip, adds SIGNIFICANT cost to the price of the vehicle and it’s total carbon footprint.

    Oh yeah…and then Ontario burns coal to produce electricity so that you can charge your battery…and disposal of spent batteries is a toxic mess, but that is a whole different topic.

    In conclusion:

    Despite everyone screaming about how bad Hummers are for the environment, they are not as bad as hybrids or electric vehicles.

  20. First, all electric cars are not the same as the Prius, which is the car the article you’re parroting is talking about. The Canadian produced Zenn, for instance, does not go through the same process.

    Second, don’t believe the hype. Read the facts (backed up with links) instead: http://www.hybridcarblog.com/2007/03/prius-versus-hummer-again-nonsense.html#1880479735704954431

    Third, if you’re only driving a few kilometers a day, you’re even more of an ass for buying a Hummer when a bicycle would serve you just fine.

    Finally, even ignoring all of the above, the Green Shift will serve as a means to address this. By adding carbon pricing to the shipping costs, it becomes less economical for the manufacturers to ship the parts around the world for production of the Prius, meaning the carbon footprint of the car’s production is reduced AND Canadians get more factory jobs.. unless Toyota for some reason decides it would rather just ignore the Canadian market entirely.

  21. “And the NDP is not working against environmental concerns.”

    I’d have to disagree with that statement. The NDP has made it clear that they do not support a carbon tax, whether it is the Liberal plan, the Green Party plan, the BC plan, the Quebec plan, the Swedish plan or whatever. To undermine what any environmental group would say is one important ingredient in moving to a sustainable economy and cutting emissions, is working against environmental concerns.

  22. Catherine… the NDP supports Cap and Trade and actual hard targets. How is that “working against the environmental concerns”? Plus, lets not ignore the fact that many nations in Europe that had a carbon tax scheme are moving away from it to Cap and Trade.

    This is not a “my way or the highway” kind of issue and if that’s how you see it, well then that’s just too bad.

  23. Cam, which nations are you referring to?

  24. discussion of how nickel makes its way around the world and back as part of battery manufacturer is really more a statement of how Canada lets everyone else make downstream money when those batteries could be made here.

    But then there would be all those pesky environmental regs which apply to everything other than mining…

  25. boudica…. right off the top of my head, the European Union does Cap and Trade, and chose that over a Carbon Tax

  26. “lets not ignore the fact that many nations in Europe that had a carbon tax scheme are moving away from it to Cap and Trade.”

    Which countries? The ones I am aware of are putting a cap and trade on top of carbon taxes, whether it is the more comprehensive carbon taxes of Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark,.. or the more targetted carbon taxes of Germany, France,… In fact, I was under the impression that the EU cap and trade required a minimum level of taxation by participating countries on certain fuels.

    I certainly don’t think it is either/or as I support the NDP’s cap and trade and the Liberal and Green parties’ carbon tax and would like to see Canada adopt both. What I don’t support is the NDP’s attacks on the concept of a carbon tax and in that I think they are working against environmental concerns.

  27. Cam, I’m confused. I was under the impression that several EU member countries currently have a carbon tax policy in place.

    You’re saying that they don’t?

  28. “What I don’t support is the NDP’s attacks on the concept of a carbon tax and in that I think they are working against environmental concerns.”

    They don’t and if Cam is honest, she/he will concur with what everyone else knows which is that the NDP attacks on the Green Shift are just part of their overall strategy to discredit the LPC. Their own base is up at arms over their attitude towards a carbon tax.

    As you said Catherine, both policies complement each other and the NDP knows it. It simply can’t afford to give credence to anything coming from the Libs.

  29. Catherine… the NDP’s gripe with the carbon tax as an idea is not “against environmental concerns”, it’s about simple taxation issues. It’s the structure of it. The fact is that the NDP supports pricing carbon, it just prefers to do it differently. That’s not being against the environment.

  30. boudica… I took that straight from a David Suzuki newsletter from May of 2008:


    And boudica, I am honest the NDP is not against this plan just to get the Liberals. The NDP has been against a Carbon tax for many years, has pushed cap and trade for just as long and did this long before Mr. Dion “saw the light” and converted to the Church of Lizzie May. To try paint it otherwise is an attempt to revise history.

  31. Cam, the link you provided does not support your claim that “many nations in Europe that had a carbon tax scheme are moving away from it to Cap and Trade.”

    Perhaps I missed it in the document somewhere?

  32. Well…if you only had to transport yourself, a Hummer is probably overkill. But some people need to travel with large quantities of equipment or over rough terrain. And although I did cycle about 25-30 km each way year round in Edmonton in my younger years, it really isn’t an option in the winter in most parts of Canada for most people.

    I’m just saying that most people think electric car good, Hummer bad, when that is not always the case, ESPECIALLY with regards to carbon footprint. Hummers are a fantastic vehicle used by the search and rescue teams around the Banff/Jasper area…hold lots of gear, and can go anywhere. Ditto for surveyors.

    Just for your information…

    Even if nickel batteries are phased out, the use of batteries will still be ineffiecient due to the number of times you convert forms of energy, and the associated losses due to inefficiency.

    To power an electric car, you need to burn coal, heat water to steam, turn a turbine to produce electricity, transmit the electricity, charge a battery, and then run the motor off the battery.

    To power an internal combustion engine, you need to burn gas to turn the engine.

    Do the math. There are inefficiencies at each step which require more energy to be input than is output. One of these processes has more steps. Can you spot that one?

    Electric vehicles are fantastic for shifting REAL pollution away from dense populations, and reducing smog in major industrial centers. But the fallacy that electric cars are clean just irks me…unless you get all of your electricity from a wind farm, electric vehicles are simply moving the emission of pollution elsewhere.

    I did an off the cuff calculation one day, and figured out that if the entire land mass of the earth was covered by windfarms, we still would not be producing the same amount of energy that is produced by fossil fuels each year. The birds will LOVE that.

    So (to preempt your predictable reply) don’t just scream windpower as your solution for everything.

    By the way…my job involves having knowledge of metals markets and fabrication facilities around the world, so don’t assume that I got all my information from one article I read on the web. Oh and that was really cute of you to link a blog as definitive proof that hybrids/electric cars are better for the environment than gas powered cars.

  33. It is pretty silly when someone like Dion comes up with the phrase “green shift”, presumably after his staff came up with it, but
    Dion and advisors did not think to check out all
    the implications of the phrase. The elected
    people and their staff should be a bit sharper.
    Most companies or people in business do not want to be openly known for supporting any
    particular party and it could hurt their business – customers come in all political strips. Of course it can hurt a business!!!
    All Dion and company should have done is to have
    said “sorry, we will not run the ad again”. The
    attitude of just blowing someone away is crude
    and unbecoming of a supposedly profession group
    of people.
    Did the Liberals lose votes on this???? Of course they did but they don’t seem too alarmed.
    Re the brother of D. McGuinty of Ontario fame he
    thought it cute to mention how many times “green shift” comes up on the web. Well, I did visit the web and there is MUCH duplication and much discussion of the present
    situation of the Liberal’s use of the phrase.
    If the Liberals were to come to power with the
    present dull bunch at Canada’s helm I will be
    really worried.
    Ms. Wright is correct in trying to right the
    wrong that is hurting her business.

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