The Scene. Thomas Mulcair challenged the government side to live up to the principles Stephen Harper once championed and so John Baird stood and claimed a different high road altogether.
“Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister, this Minister of Finance and this government are focused like a laser on the economy,” he assured the House. “They are focused on economic growth, job creation and not on partisan games.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister proceeded then to lament that the NDP’s Peter Julian had spoken for too long in response to the Finance Minister’s budget speech.
A moment later, Bob Rae stood to review the budget bill one clause at a time. “Mr. Speaker, under these proposed budget changes, the Inspector General of CSIS will be gone,” he reviewed from a piece of paper he held in front of him. “The Centre for Rights and Democracy will be gone. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy will be gone. The First Nations Statistical Institute will be gone. The Governance Institute will be gone. The National Aboriginal Health Organization will be gone. The National Council of Welfare will be gone, environmental assessment will be gutted, Parks Canada will be gutted and old age security will be gutted.”
There was some degree of mumbling and grumbling from the government side. Mr. Rae proceeded to his point. “These are basic protections for Canadians. These are basic ways in which Canadians have rights and governments do not have all the rights,” he explained. “When will the government learn it is taking the wrong path?”
The question was rather rhetorical and the answer surpassed the question in this regard.
“Mr. Speaker, the leader of the third party knows that there is another path. We could let spending get out of control. We could see Canada become the welfare capital of the world. We could see unemployment skyrocket,” Mr. Baird mused. “That is his record as premier of Ontario.”
“The member opposite talks about the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy,” Mr. Baird continued. “It has tabled more than 10 reports encouraging a carbon tax. Now we know why the Liberal Party holds that organization so dearly, because it truly wants to bring in a carbon tax on every family in this country. Those of us on this side of the House will not let them do it.”
Mr. Rae tried again. Mr. Baird went further.
“Why should taxpayers have to pay for more than 10 reports promoting a carbon tax, something that the people of Canada have repeatedly rejected?” he begged. “That is a message the Liberal Party just will not accept. It should agree with Canadians. It should agree with the government. No discussion of a carbon tax that would kill and hurt Canadian families.”
It has been well known for some time that the introduction of a carbon tax would, indisputably and objectively, “screw everybody.” But now the murderous truth is revealed. There’s no telling how many families in British Columbia have already been killed.
Or perhaps the minister misspoke. (If one knows the talking points, as one should by now, one can see where the minister meant to say that a carbon tax would merely “kill Canadian jobs.”)
The roundtable was, in fact, created by the government of Brian Mulroney (a government that was aided by a young ministerial staffer named John Baird). As the roundtable’s founding chairman, Mr. Mulroney appointed David Johnston, that kindly grandfather who presently occupies Rideau Hall. And it was Johnston who, shortly after becoming the Governor General at Stephen Harper’s behest, praised the roundtable for “undertaking exhaustive research, bringing together diverse interests, rallying the brightest minds and providing unbiased advice to governments.”
In 2009, when current Conservative MP Robert Sopuck was a board member, the roundtable actually proposed that the country pursue cap-and-trade. A year earlier, as luck would have it, the Conservative party had promised to pursue a North American cap-and-trade regime. And in September 2009, Jim Prentice lobbied for the Alberta government’s support to pursue a national system. Luckily, we now know—thanks to the investigative work of Mr. Baird—that cap-and-trade is the same thing as a carbon tax (at least when cap-and-trade is proposed by someone holding the title of opposition leader).
Pressed to explain himself after Question Period, Mr. Baird hinted that he was privy to the secret plans of the Liberal party. In having referenced the National Roundtable’s report, he sought, he said, “to draw the link between” the Liberals’ “private desire to reclaim their carbon tax mantle.”
But what of the National Roundtable’s encouragement in this regard? Mr. Baird was asked whether “ideological differences with the roundtable” had, in a reporter’s words, “put the final nail in its coffin.”
“Listen, we appointed the board,” Mr. Baird confessed, “so if that was the case, I just don’t see that.”
So then it is not that the National Roundtable had advocated for a carbon tax, but that such advocacy might’ve leant assistance to some secret Liberal plan to do harm (directly or indirectly) to Canadian families. Thankfully the National Roundtable will soon be no more. Hug your family members tonight and say a prayer of thanks.
The Stats. The budget, military procurement and Libya, five questions each. Agriculture, four questions. Old Age Security and ethics, three questions. Immigration, telecommunications and science, two questions each. Aboriginal affairs, veterans, economic development, foreign aid, food safety, the oil industry, infrastructure and prisons, one question each.
John Baird and Peter MacKay, six responses each. Gerry Ritz, five responses. Julian Fantino, four responses. Diane Finley and Pierre Poilievre, three responses each. Jason Kenney, Jim Flaherty and Gary Goodyear, one response each. Leona Aglukkaq, John Duncan, Bev Oda, Dave Anderson, Steven Fletcher and Rob Nicholson, one response each.