McLaughlin says he has “no idea” where Baird got his figures. McLaughlin says the group did not produce 10 reports recommending a carbon tax. Instead, the roundtable provided advice on how the government can reach its own goals. “We never said … ‘you’re not doing enough’ or ‘your targets aren’t right’,” he told CBC News in an interview. “What we tried to do is take the government’s targets and say here’s some advice on the best way to do it.”
In 2008 and again in 2010, McLaughlin’s group produced two reports outlining options for Canada to reach its 2050 target to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Both recommended a cap-and-trade system, something the Conservative government was considering at the time. “We had said that cap and trade was a more efficient way to go, rather than a straight carbon tax right across the country,” said McLaughlin. “But the idea of putting a basic form of carbon tax on everybody was not something we recommended, but it is (carbon) pricing so people can get confused I guess.”
I asked Mr. Baird’s office on Monday for the basis of his claim that the roundtable produced “more than 10 reports” that recommended a carbon tax. His office offered links to six reports that “talk of a carbon tax”—here, here, here, here, here and here.