Stephen Harper’s risky, job-killing carbon tax

by Aaron Wherry

In reciting the party talking points yesterday afternoon, Jeff Watson charged that Thomas Mulcair would “bring back a risky, job-killing carbon tax.” That basis for this would seem to be that Mr. Mulcair advocates for cap-and-trade.

During the 2008 federal campaign, Mr. Harper said a carbon tax would “screw everybody” and undermine national unity. During last year’s campaign, John Baird described cap-and-trade as “dangerous” and “unCanadian.” Mr. Harper then said cap-and-trade was the same as a carbon tax. And yet…

The Conservatives promised in their 2008 campaign platform to pursue a continental cap-and-trade system. The Harper government repeated the promise in its 2008 Throne Speech. In September 2009, Jim Prentice lobbied the Alberta government on the virtues of cap-and-trade. In December 2009, the Harper government claimed to be “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.” And as recently as last May, the Environment Minister allowed that cap-and-trade “can always be something to consider in the future.”




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Stephen Harper’s risky, job-killing carbon tax

  1. We all know it’s coming, the only question is when.

    • Sure .. but first we’ll to endure a truly massive shitstorm blowing out of
      Calgary that will probably make the NEP madness look like a pillow fight.

      Speaking of which … Where IS Bruce Carson ??

      •  Harp will try to hide behind the Americans on this, so that may mute it somewhat.

        No idea on Carson…

      • We need some enterprising reporter to follow up on Bruce, and Rahim and Helena, and also the environmental office worker who was perp-walked out of his office by RCMP a few years ago.  Also, curious about where Bruce’s common law wife is now too.  The hyperactive 24-hour news cycle introduces us to these people in a frenzy, and they’re gone just as fast when a new sniff of scandal comes along. 

        Where are they now? 

        • Maybe they’re all senators?

        • Perhaps that enterprising (?) reporter could start with the activities of
          Mr. Carson’s Tinker Tanker operating under cover of the University of
          Calgary and seeded with government money. Maybe one of the austerity
          hawks among the enterprising (?) reporters.

  2.  Hypocrisy???? From this government???

    Next you’re going to tell me that Dean Del Mastro is incapable of doing anything but repeating talking points

  3. Once, just for fun, I played a game of Risk using the tactic of talking to everyone, and leaving the confidential one on one conferences with a vague affirmative committal to each participant, and assuring “Not This” and “Not that” to other players. 

    A large part of the Harper Conservatives positioning and tactics involve this constant denial of “Not This”, and “Not That”. “We are not them!” and “We are not that!” leaves the definition of who you are and what you stand for entirely up to the hearer of the assurances.

    The first round of play in the Risk game was delightful fun. I was wiped off the map in the second round.

  4. Over the long-term a carbon tax is job-creating as one or two generations will have more made in China technical goods and more made in Africa goods that are now made in China.  Southern Europe afflicted by permanent drought is bad for EU and not great for Russia either as WWs attest.
    In Canada will lose jobs initially.  Probably jobs are $70000 (lots of OT in oil patch) which is maybe 35% of revenue (as coal and natural gas aren’t all that profitable).  For every $200000 in lost petro revenue is one job lost.  Assume that other $130000 of expenses gives spillover of another job (much just increases rich people assets and changes ownership of foreign companies) …it isn’t clear new low footprint oil extraction technologies are developed with profits, can tar drain fewer bogs?  Rather see at least a tax for tar going to natural gas and new minerals stock exchanges (trading titanium dioxide, rare earth and precious metals, long-term strategic grain stores, alot of OffTB OTC stuff would be better capitalized if Crown exchange for one or two mining cycles subsidized).  What is the liability limit for an oil spill still $30M and now all “red tape’ being cut?  Great for local property prices.  Fortified well water the chamber of commerce aligned MSM can call it.  With our resource profits we should lead the new industries.  Miniaturizing utility-scale battery prototypes (stores wind/solar), is my best guess.  Big companies underinvest in new markets and by then momentum or something makes the growing product the winner, for a while.  i guess the correct path was to be a bigger owner in a smaller product.  We are being like a dinosaur company by giving carbon-intensive resource revenue to rich shareholders.  Anyway, Dion’s $15B carbon tax is 75000 annual jobs lost.  With the carpentry green bank and the tax cut to other industries…I guess whoever cuts taxes the deepest creates the most jobs is you fund it out of deficits.  Rich people want to be richer rather than give the future a reliable climate and black ink.
    Be nice to have $$/yr of longevity or longevity worth living, for various hospital procedures and treatments, by province.  Isn’t the be all and end all metric, but a main problem with USA costs is overprescription of some equipment.  If we see who is overusing some surgeries, and aging Que will need more hip-replacements, we can tie healthcare funding to a good ROI.  doesn’t measure marginal investment either.  Future pandemic investments could be measured against costs of existing hospital stock, too.  A lab-on-a-chip that measures swamp water phenolics and peatified wood lignin sidewall chemistry, would be nice to see in budget.

    • …at a $40B deficit, higher resource prices but also healthcare costs, we will turn into Greece in 30 yrs or so.  Instead of improvements the Liberals will be stuck bailing out a neocon nation.

      • On the “About Syncrude” page, find 7000 direct jobs and as many indirectly, on 107M barrels of oil/yr.  That is revenue of +$10B.  Looking at around $1M a job/yr:  http://www.syncrude.ca/users/folder.asp?FolderID=5617
         
        Now Brookfield Renewable Power, an investor risk disclosure for their 2011 annual report is on page 45: they will be adversely affected by Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto…Brookfield does Hydro and Wind and has (had?) an aggressive growth strategy:  http://brookfieldrenewable.com/content/quarterly_reports/annual_reports-33106.html
         
        Vestas revenue around $9B and 23000 employees (two 2 word google searches).  Is $400000 job/yr.  And reduces future climate shocks.  The USA’s over enthusiasm of neoconomics during the Cold War has lead to underknowledge of Keynesian FDR job creation.  tax cuts to tar isn’t job creation if the $$ in is computed; if everyone in the province got stock options on first $5000 of annual income, maybe.

  5. Last thing we want to do is make pollution a commodity. 

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