Great Moments in Farce: The definitive collection

by Aaron Wherry

Most of these quotes have appeared here at one time or another over the last year and a half, but in case you were looking for something you could frame and hang on the wall, here in one place are the greatest moments in the Conservatives’ carbon tax farce.

Conservative party platform, 2004 electionA Conservative government will implement the commitments of Stephen Harper’s February 2004 paper, “Towards a Cleaner Canada,” including … Investigate a cap-and-trade system that will allow firms to generate credits by reducing smog-causing pollutants.

Bob Mills, June 8, 2005Unlike the smog blind Liberals, the Conservative Party of Canada has a real plan to deal with air pollution. We will legislate caps on smog-causing pollutants like nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and volatile organic compounds. We will also propose a cap and trade system within Canada that will give companies incentives to actually reduce smog-causing pollutants.

Mark Warawa, November 2, 2006Nothing prevents the Montreal Exchange from establishing a carbon credit along the lines that currently exist in Chicago. The notice of intent that we released last week explicitly mentions carbon trading as one of the issues we will be consulting on. 

Mark Warawa, November 27, 2006Mr. Speaker, actually the environment minister had very good meetings with her international counterparts and they were establishing a workshop that will be held within weeks. The EU, U.K. and United States will all be participating in discussions on carbon trading.

John Baird, February 8, 2007A carbon trading system is certainly up and running in the European Union, whereas a carbon tax…. I suppose it would depend on what kind of proposal you were making. It would be in the eye of the beholder.

John Baird, February 8, 2007I will tell you that when it comes to compliance mechanisms, domestic carbon trading for the private sector is something we’re open to and looking at. A number of colleagues have pushed me on the idea of the Montreal exchange, as have Toronto and other areas. It’s something we’ll be coming forward on in short order when we release our industrial targets.

Mark Warawa, February 12, 2007. Mr. Speaker, as we have said, and as I have told the hon. member many times, we are open to domestic carbon trading, to looking at it…

Mark Warawa, March 27, 2007I was quite surprised by some comments made by Mr. Cullen, unaware apparently…. Hopefully, he has read the Clean Air Act. Under clauses 29 and 33, it very clearly talks about carbon trading. It’s on pages 28 and 29. So carbon trading has always been part of the Clean Air Act. The market should decide where that trade will occur. So it is already part of the Clean Air Act…

Stephen Harper, June 4, 2007. Of course, it may not be possible for all countries, or all industries and firms within all countries, to reduce their emissions by the same amount on the same time line. That is why other compliance measures such as carbon offsets and carbon trading are also necessary. They are part of Canada’s plan and, provided they are not just an accounting shell game, they must be part of a universal, international regime.

Mark Warawa, November 29, 2007We need to look at solutions, and this government is committed to solutions, solutions such as energy efficiency, renewable fuels, carbon capture and storage, a domestic carbon trading market.

John Baird, January 7, 2008We’ve got to put a price on carbon. We’re doing just that.

John Baird, January 11, 2008Our plan also will require big industry to pay into a technology fund starting at $15 per tonne of carbon, putting a price on carbon for those who emit the most.

Conservative party policy declaration, 2008We support a domestic cap-and-trade system that will allow firms to generate credits by reducing smog-causing pollutants.

Jim Flaherty, February 26, 2008Our government is also providing $66 million over two years to lay the foundation for market based mechanisms that will establish a price for carbon and support the development of carbon trading in Canada.

Ted Menzies, February 27, 2008. In budget 2008 we are taking further action to fulfill our commitments to a cleaner, healthier environment. For example, budget 2008 is committing $250 million for carbon capture and storage projects. Furthermore, our government is providing $66 million over two years to lay the foundation for market-based mechanisms that will help establish a price for carbon and support the development of carbon trading in Canada.

Mark Warawa, March 31, 2008Our plan includes setting up a carbon emissions trading market, including a carbon offset system, to provide incentives for Canadians to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’re providing industry with the tools it needs, the tools of a domestic carbon market, and we’re also establishing the market price of carbon. We’ve heard from industry, we’ve heard from environmental groups, and we’ve heard from our international partners that these are necessary parts of the plan, and they are now part of a plan.

Stephen Harper, May 29, 2008Canadian industries that do not meet their emission reduction targets will be required to do one of three things.  They will have access to a domestic carbon trading system which will include offset credits for non-industrial practices that reduce emissions.  We eventually hope to participate in a North American trading regime, depending on what action the United States takes, and I’ll talk about that in a second.  We likewise hope to participate someday in a more mature and robust emissions trading regime internationally.  As well, industries will have access to credits through the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism … I should mention that while our plan will effectively establish a price on carbon of $65 a tonne, growing to that rate over the next decade, our Government has opted not to apply carbon taxes. 

John Baird, May 30, 2008“As Canada’s Environment Minister, I am pleased to be in Montreal today to celebrate the opening of the Montreal Climate Exchange,” said Minister Baird.  “Carbon trading and the establishment of a market price on carbon are key parts of our Turning the Corner plan to cut Canada’s greenhouse gases an absolute 20% by 2020.  Clearly, our Government’s action to fight climate change is working hand in hand with groups like the Montreal Climate Exchange.”

Conservative party platform, 2008 electionWe will work with the provinces and territories and our NAFTA trading partners in the United States and Mexico, at both the national and state levels, to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases and air pollution, with implementation to occur between 2012 and 2015.

Stephen Harper, June 20, 2008Prime Minister Stephen Harper pulled no punches on Friday in describing a carbon tax proposal by Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, saying it would “screw everybody” across Canada.

Stephen Harper, September 11, 2008The Liberals’ carbon tax plan will plunge Canada into recession, sparking economic unrest that will revive Quebec’s separatist movement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.

Throne Speech, November 19, 2008We will work with the provincial governments and our partners to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases and an effective international protocol for the post-2012 period.

Jim Prentice, January 27, 2009It is right there in black and white in our platform, and we have now made a commitment in this area. We will implement a North American cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric pollution, and we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020.

Jim Prentice, February 12, 2009Canada, in the North American context, has some of the most significant hydro possibilities that remain to be developed, and once a price is put on carbon, many of those hydro projects will become quite competitive.

Jim Prentice, June 10, 2009The offset system will be a key part of that overall commitment.  It is intended to generate real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by providing Canadian firms and individuals with the opportunity to reduce or remove emissions from activities and sectors that will not be covered by our planned greenhouse gas regulations. It does so by establishing a price for carbon in Canada – something that has never been done before in this country.

Briefing note for Jim Prentice, September 11, 2009.  “I think you would agree with me that encouraging businesses and individuals to change behaviour requires appropriate price signals … We believe that a carefully designed cap-and-trade system will send the appropriate price signals to encourage changes and ultimately help reduce emissions.”

Stephen Harper, October 14, 2009. “There will be compliance mechanisms that set a price on carbon but obviously that will come into effect when we have continental or perhaps even an international cap and trade regime.”

Jim Prentice, December 2, 2009Our policy is simple, to enter into an agreement with the major emitters in Copenhagen and to harmonize our targets and regulations with our partner, the United States, while establishing a carbon trading system.

Jim Prentice, December 3, 2009The Leader of the Opposition reinforces this government’s strategy for a national cap and trade system that will include absolute caps, put a price on carbon, and be structured so it can be harmonized with a future United States system.

Harper government news release, December 2009The Harper Government is working in collaboration with the provinces and territories to develop a cap and trade system that will ultimately be aligned with the emerging cap and trade program in the United States.

Peter Kent, May 19, 2011“There’s no expectation of cap-and-trade continentally in the near or medium future and we don’t believe that it would be wise to go with a shallow market in a closely integrated continental economy,” Kent said. “It can always be something to consider in the future.”

Mark Warawa, December 5, 2011Mr. Speaker, Europe addressed the issue of the price of carbon continentally. We have said that we will deal with the issue of a cap and trade agreement continentally, if the United States does the same thing continentally. 

Peter Kent, June 18, 2012Carbon pricing in any form is a carbon tax…

John Williamson, September 17, 2012Cap and trade or cap and tax, a price on carbon is a tax on carbon. That makes it a carbon tax.




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Great Moments in Farce: The definitive collection

  1. I want to get me some of these tax free carbons before carbon tax is introduced but I can’t find them. I ask around but no one seems to know where they can be bought. Governments have multiple prices on carbon in Canada, I don’t understand what people are talking about when they say we have to establish price for carbon.

    Carbon tax is a sin tax for environmental kooks and relapsed catholics, not serious policy that has anything to do with making Earth cooler or less stormy. European gas prices in Canada means we would just drive clown cars like the Europeans do instead of proper North American vehicles.

    And Canada doesn’t actually want people to stop moving, people going to work during week and visit their grannies in another city on the weekend is a good thing, it creates wealth for Government to steal.

  2. “Peter Kent: Carbon pricing in any form is a carbon tax, because to be a realistic dollar figure, it would get Canadians at the gas pump for example, and right across the economy, but at the gas pump, it would get us to where Europeans are.”

    wiki ~ Canada, like most countries, has excise taxes and other taxes on gasoline, diesel, and other liquid and gas motor fuels (collectively called fuel taxes), and also taxes electricity at various administrative levels. Most provinces and territories in Canada also have taxes on these motor fuels, and somemetropolitan areas such as Montreal, Greater Vancouver, and Victoria impose additional taxes. Additionally, Canada’s federal (national) government collects sales tax (GST) across the country, and some provincial governments also collect a provincial sales tax (PST), which may be combined with the GST into a single harmonized sales tax (HST).

    • Provincial and federal taxes on gasoline are why Canadians pay more for gasoline than Americans.

      ex. 1 US Gallon = 3.79 Litres

      Ottawa ON price: $1.239/litre = $4.70/US gallon

      Syracuse NY price: $3.79/US gallon

      As you can see from the example, Canadian gasoline prices are about 25% higher than US prices. (assumes currency parity)

      Americans complain about the high price for gasoline, but Canadians mostly just accept it.

  3. You’re just trying to divert attention away from Thomas Mulcair’s Justin Trudeau’s job killing carbon tax

    • Sounds like Harper is ready to implement cap and trade which will also drive up energy costs.

      He’s just waiting for the US to tell him what to do.

  4. It’s really not fair to quote anything the Harper government says beyond yesterday, it interferes with their ability to respond to the needs of staying in power.
    Such actions are decidedly undemocratic, ask that noted expert on democracy elsewhere, John Baird.

    • Or Mr Alexander.

  5. Wasn’t there someone on these boards who used to write poetry about the Conservative’s proclivity towards lying? I always think of those poems when I read these posts.

    • Jack’s been long gone now…sadly.

  6. Have to admit, I don’t even bother reading these anymore, Aaron.

    I mean, hopefully, maybe its working to actually drive the point through some people’s blinders, but I tend to think at this point, in this venue, you’re simply preaching to the converted.

  7. “Prime Minister Stephen Harper, September 11, 2008. The
    Liberals’ carbon tax plan will plunge Canada into recession, sparking
    economic unrest that will revive Quebec’s separatist movement, Prime
    Minister Stephen Harper says….and offers comfort and aid to the Taliban”

    If there’s a special place for truly dumb hyperbolic rhetoric then this one should be a leading contender to head it. Mr Harper was worried about a CT at a time the world’s banking mafia was driving us gleefully over a cliff.

    I still contend those timelines indicate that even this govt had convinced itself of the necessity of a price on carbon, right up to an beyond the departure of its likely one sincere advocate – Prentice. After that and probably coinciding with Obama’s failure to get his plan through congress it’s been all about retrenching and retreating to “some day”.
    The odd thing is they could have legitimately attacked the NDP on that ground alone – you can’t have a workable or fair carbon market w/o the US being a part of it. No cognitive dissonance there. Instead they went for:
    “Their crazy is way crazier than our good crazy! It’s a bad crazy And besides we didn’t mean to actually cost the consumer or industry or ANYONE any pain at all, so clearly our plan was a carbon placebo, whereas theirs is/was a carbon laxative”
    Which is doubly ironic since that’s still what the NDP’s position is, isn’t it? “We’ll make sure industry bears all the cost -not the little guy – since they made the problem.” There’s a whiff of schizophrenia about this debate, and that’s where the real crazy lies..

    • Quebec costs the rest of Canada about $8 billion in annual so-called ‘equalization payments’ which Quebec uses to subsidize social programs that the ROC cannot afford.

      If all it takes is a recession to rile up the Separatists and set Quebec on the road to self-immolation, that may be a worthwhile investment.

  8. As seen above, ‘Canada’s strong, stable, national Conservative majority government’™ will pledge to do whatever the USA decides, including a cap-and-trade market for ‘carbon credits’, which will drive up the price to Canadians for all petroleum products, natural gas, electricity, and all goods and services that use energy in various forms in their manufacture or delivery, including food.

    So far, the Obama administration has not taken action to implement a cap-and-trade market because it hasn’t have the votes in the House of Representatives.

    However, Obama mentioned action to address ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’ in his second inaugural address. After all, he needs the additional revenues to help pay for ObamaCare and other social services his administration is dispensing.

    This time, it won’t matter if Congress won’t support a carbon tax or carbon market, because Obama’s pledged to implement his personal wishes by executive edict through the Environmental Protection Agency if necessary. (The EPA will declare CO2, otherwise known as the key ingredient necessary for plant-life on planet Earth, to be a poison.) Following EPA logic, they may as well declare water and oxygen to be hazardous substances to be regulated as well.

    So, if King Obama decrees that Americans will have to start paying to change the weather, and odds are he will, PM Harper will go along like a loyal puppy and implement a carbon market (tax) in Canada using his reliable ‘but, but but, I had to!!!’ excuse.

    Is there a ‘conservative’ party in Canada? Cuz I haven’t seen one since the Conservative Party won the 2006 federal election.

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