Backing the bus over John Baird -

Backing the bus over John Baird


John Baird was thrown under the bus on Tuesday. Yesterday, the president of the National Roundtable reversed the bus back over the Foreign Affairs Minister.

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.


Backing the bus over John Baird

  1. Well this wasn’t hard. I haven’t gotten to mention of a carbon tax, but halfway through the executive summary of the first report there’s this line.
    “COMPETITIVENESS issues matter, but they matter most for about 10 % of Canada’s economy that is considered emissions-intensive and trade-exposed, including sectors such as oil and gas extraction,”
    Sounded their death knell right there.

  2. If I were running a government agency tasked with delivering answers to specific questions, I might consider sitting on my answers for the foreseeable future. This government doesn’t react well to sobering advice, to facts, to logic, or to any utterings their base might want to shake a stick at. Better to just sit on your reports until a more reasonable government comes into force.