Auld Lang Syne - Macleans.ca
 

Auld Lang Syne


 

CBC, June 20, 2008. Prime 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.

Toronto Star, Sept. 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.

Toronto Sun, Dec. 22, 2009Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today he hopes he won’t have to impose a carbon tax on Canadians as part of the fight to reduce global warming – but admitted he couldn’t entirely rule it out.


 

Auld Lang Syne

  1. Of course he can't rule it out. Pricing carbon is the most efficient way to deal with pollution. Hundreds of economists signed a letter of support for Dion's carbon plan, remember? Canada might decide to delay the inevitable but the rest of the world certainly won't.

    Dion's Green Shift was ahead of its time and we were too stupid to appreciate its true value.

    • While I do admire Dion, didn't he campaign against Ignatieff's proposed carbon tax in 2006?

      • BC, I don't recall a campaign. I do recall him saying that he was against it during the leadership race. What's your point?

        • I think the point is that Dion was a convert, not an originator. The first national politician to actually put it out there as something to think about was Michael Ignatieff, interestingly enough. Same goes for Quebec as a civic nation. Heyyyyy….I guess that guy's pretty smart after all.

          • an originator? Are you saying that Ignatieff invented the carbon policy?

            I could careless who thought of it first. All I know is that we missed out on the opportunity to have a Canadian Prime Minister champion the concept of pricing carbon.

            Do you think that Iggy would have that kind of courage? It is easy to pay lip-service to the idea. Dion actually staked his career on it. The man was so naively certain that we would side with a sound and necessary policy that he laid it out on the line.

            I'm not saying that Iggy would never do this but I would be seriously shocked if took such a stand on this. Actually, I'd be shocked in the man took a stand on anything at this point.

          • Yes, McC. Dion was against pricing carbon during the leadership race while Iggy supported it.

            Don't you find it interesting though that when Dion became leader, he took up the flag and championned it and that Iggy, now the leader, won't do the same? In fact, Iggy is now championning the Tar Sands, of all things.

            What does that tell you?

            THAT tells me a whole lot about Ignatieff

          • Tells me he's following one of Homer Simpson's most important teachings: 'So you tried your best and failed miserably, the lesson is: never try.'

          • For the record Dion also defended the tar sands and said they were important for Canada's economic future. The Liberal party has been consistent on this. The major distinction with the Conservatives is that they believe the tar sands should be developed in a more sustainable, measured way. The carbon tax would presumably slow down the rush to suck out the oil as fast as humanly possible (the same way a drop in the price of oil does).

          • Further to my last post, I think the LPC sees this as a potential national unity issue. The party is especially sensitive to that issue. I think it explains why their position on the tar sands/oil sands is more nuanced than…say…the NDP.

            The Liberals could esaily play to their base by demonizing the tar sands but the party's leaders recognize that this could potentially fracture the federation in a serious way. The comparison I always you is: imagine if the federal govt tried to "shut down" Hydro-Quebec? Imagine how that would go over. Same dynamics in Alberta.

          • Errr, I think the balls in Harper's court. What Thomas Meighan or Lester Pearson would have done in the situation is neither here nor there. It's about lyin' Stephen…

          • "The Liberals could esaily play to their base by demonizing the tar sands but the party's leaders recognize that this could potentially fracture the federation in a serious way."

            No one is suggesting that Iggy should demonize the tar sands. Since Iggy doesn't seem to have issues keeping quiet on important policy matters, why not keep his mouth shut about the Tar Sands?

            "The comparison I always you is: imagine if the federal govt tried to "shut down" Hydro-Quebec? Imagine how that would go over. Same dynamics in Alberta."

            There would be no need for such a move with a carbon tax. The market would determine its fate.

          • I don't think you can say "no comment" on such a major issue.

          • But Anon, the LPC is no longer advocating a carbon tax. So how is the LPC's stance on the Tar Sands any different than Harper's?

          • It's not really any different at this time. All 3 major parties are saying 'cap & trade' with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

            Can you really blame the Liberals after what happened last election? But as I wrote earlier I'm hoping they don't completely close the door on it and, if they get back in power. that they actually implement it. Would take a lot of balls though.

          • "Can you really blame the Liberals after what happened last election?"

            Absolutely, Anon Lib. Had the LPC caucus rallied around Dion instead of helping the Tories discredit him, had that caucus supported Dion's Green Shift, a carbon tax wouldn't be such a pariah-like policy. The LPC didn't just do away with Dion, they also did away with any chance this country had of having a much needed debate on the best ways to deal with our energy consumption and pollution. As you said earlier, hardly any politician would dare pick up where Dion left off.

            Who but the Liberals can credibly advance a carbon pricing policy in Canada? The onus is on your party as far as I am concerned.

  2. I can imagine quite a few people won't mind being "screwed" by Harper.

  3. He's up to the challenge, are you?

    • Of course he can't rule it out. Pricing carbon is the most efficient way to deal with pollution. Hundreds of economists signed a letter of support for Dion's carbon plan, remember? Canada might decide to delay the inevitable but the rest of the world certainly won't.

  4. What a strange thing for the PM to say. I can't wait to read what proposals Wilson, AVR, jarrid, or s_c_f, will have for changing the channel (will they begin "why does Wherry…?" or "Respected pundit so-and-so says Michael Ignatieff…" or "Imagine that, after 9000 posts about torture, Wherry-theLiberal-hack posts some quotes out of context"?).

    • Nevermind what the Conbots have to say on this. I want to hear from the LPC. Given the way they so quickly tossed out Dion's Green Shift, what do they think of Harper's stunning admission?

      Oh and never mind the "stunning" part. I suspect Harper knew all along that Dion was right.

      • I guess it's not a "tax on everything" if the Americans do it first.

        What a tragedy that a clown and follower like Harper is PM while a man of real integrity and vision like Dion gets ridiculed by our national media because he fails to grasp the vital importance of camcorders and has a funny accent when speaking English.

        As for your question, here's one Liberal member who was very proud to run on the Green Shift. I continue to think it is the best public policy approach to reducing our fossil fuel consumption. I also recognize, however, the reality that it is PERCEIVED as political suicide.

        • As for your question, here's one Liberal member who was very proud to run on the Green Shift.

          Proud enough to…post anonymously?

          • I post anonymously for work-related reasons john g.

          • Fair enough. Likewise.

          • I post anonymously for work-related reasons "john g".

        • "I also recognize, however, the reality that it is PERCEIVED as political suicide."

          It is political suicide so there are good reasons for the perception.

          CBC, Oct '08: The Liberals captured only 26.2 per cent of the popular vote — two points lower than the party's disastrous 1984 finish with John Turner at the helm and only four points ahead of the party's worst-ever results in 1867.

          http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/10/20/dion-an

          • "The Liberals captured only 26.2 per cent of the popular vote — two points lower than the party's disastrous 1984 finish with John Turner at the helm and only four points ahead of the party's worst-ever results in 1867."

            I am so sick and tired of hearing this nonsense. Joylon, you actually believe that the people who decided to not vote Liberal on that day did so because of the Green Shift?

            I know that this is what the pundits gleefully chanted from the roof top but come on… Most Canadians didn't even know about the policy. I think most Canadians had the CTV interview of Dion in their head when they went voting that day.

          • "Most Canadians didn't even know about the policy. I think most Canadians had the CTV interview of Dion in their head when they went voting that day."

            Of course you do.

            I have no idea why people vote, or don't, but I do know that Green Shift is about the only thing most of the electorate knew about Dion/Libs and to blame their worst showing in over 100 years on one tv interview that few people saw is nonsensical.

          • "I have no idea why people vote, or don't, but I do know that Green Shift is about the only thing most of the electorate knew about Dion/Libs and to blame their worst showing in over 100 years on one tv interview that few people saw is nonsensical."

            I frankly can't come up with anything else to explain the sudden dip in the polls that appeared out of no where on the weekend before the vote. What I know is that the Libs were on an upswing following the debates where Dion took on Harper and his lies about the Green Shift. On the Friday, the CTV clips started to play ad nauseum on all the networks and was front page news. On the day of the election, the Tories get a sudden boost and almost get a majority.

          • Yeah, but Joylon, now that it isn't a "permanent tax on everything" . . .

    • Well I'm usually among the first to do so but I have no problem with this one, when it's clearly in context.

      Actually Wherry was pretty kind to Harper on this one, he missed commenting on this little gem in the same article.

      Harper shot back at Quebec Premier Jean Charest who suggested, in Copenhagen, that the provinces might not follow a weak agreement.

      “I think Canadians expect that when Canada is taking part in international negotiations, partisan, provincial or private perspectives are not brought up on the international scene,” Harper said.

      • two Stevies might also avoid the embarrassing no-shows at photos

  5. |Can you not get it through your head that anything Stephen Harper says has no integrity whatsoever beyond the very moment it is spoken (and if often lacks integrity then, too).

    • Why wouldn't he lie? Looks to me like it has worked in his favour so far.

      Integrity doesn't get you anywhere in this town. Ask Dion.

      • "Integrity doesn't get you anywhere in this town. Ask Dion."

        Is that you, Mme Krieber?

    • I agree!!!

  6. Well, that's good news! It seems to me that the only truly efficient way of making any kind of difference is hitting the individual, since individuals are the ones who actually do stuff, like not conserve energy. In this case, a corporate entity can be included as individual.

    But notwithstanding my approval, please know I'm going to have lots of fun with this if it does come to pass. Just for the sheer partisan thrill of it.

  7. I'm a little surprised by this quote from Harper. Hopefully he can elaborate on this, because I'm not fond of this switcheroo.

    • OK, I've read the article now, and I have no problem with the statement, it is consistent with what he has said all along. He will not impose a carbon tax on Canadians unless he must follow suit because of what the US has done.

      • Really scf?

        I'm about as happy as Harper ceding control of our environmental policy to Obama as I'm sure most lefties would be about ceding our control of any domestic policy to George Bush.

        • Actually Harper ceded environmental policy out to W too. Only then we couldn't get anything done cus George didn't want it. Harper's consistent at least. We can't have an independant policy of any kind…we're uncle sam's poodle…according to Steve.

        • Yes, well, I'm a little cynical about environmental issues. I think a carbon tax is a farce. And I think Obama is not one we should follow. I see your point. The only salvation is the fact that the cap and trade legislation in the works in the US looks dead on arrival.

      • There is no question from a pragmatic point of view that we need to take careful account of the policy of our trading partners especially the US. The sad part about simply following is that it removes all opportunity for strategic investment. If Canada had set up first as a stable business environment for developing green technologies it is possible that we could have been a player in their manufacture. There is precedent, due to its size and sparse population Canada's public and private sector made communication a strategic priority and became a major player for many years. (yeah I know it all went to crap eventually)

        • At the same time, being the first means being the one to experience all the problems. Look at the fraud and the failures with European cap and trade. They've wasted billions and introduced untold corruption. I'm pleased we're not experiencing that fiasco.
          Personally, I don't believe in anthropomorphic global warming, so I think any form of carbon pricing is a good idea. We don't need it to be on the forefront of green technologies.

      • So a Made-in-Canada-Solution then?

    • "Hopefully he can elaborate on this, because I'm not fond of this switcheroo."

      oh scf….

    • who was driving the turnip truck you fell off of? Prentice has been on the cap'ntrade for 18 months now.

  8. Mr Dion's Carbon Shift was ahead of his time; but today that is not the issue. The issue is ,Canada needs to be in Sync with the States. If Canada tries to go it alone Canada won't be able to compete economically with the Yanks.

    • So if we follow this logic, why even bother being a different country? It's rather inefficient to maintain a parallel set of institutions (that most of us don't seem to respect much, or want to learn and understand, etc.) only to then say that we'll do whatever the Americans decide… Sometimes I wonder if we should reconsider the decisions of oldtymers like Baldwin, Lafontaine, Papineau and MacKenzie

      • Yeah, it's so damn inefficient maintaining two countries like this…

        • I was being facetious, but honestly, how much does our federal government cost us to come up with decisions like "we're awaiting US review of the Afghanistan Strategy to decide what to do" (v.s. we're working with the US on the…) and "we're awaiting a US decision on the decision on the crisis in the automotive industry" and "we're awaiting US position on a continental approach to GHG" (and this one is doubly bad because as Wells has pointed out, the US isn't pursuing a continental approach). It's like we're Puerto Rico, no taxation, no representation.

  9. Personally I'm hoping the Liberals refrain from making it part of their next platform but at the same time don't rule it out. Then if they get in power they should introduce it. I would also simplify the idea from Dion's approach. Tax ALL carbon, including gasoline. Use the revenues generated by the carbon tax to give Canadians income tax breaks, with perhaps some kind of special mechanisms to help provinces that might be the most hurt by a carbon tax (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland). DON'T say you'll use the revenue or even part of the revenues to boost social programs. And SLAM the Jack Layton hard if he comes out against it again.

    • I agree with the simplification idea. I always hated the fact that Dion had to package the carbon pricing idea into a revenue neutral formula. That being said, his policy was so ahead of the curve, he probably felt that he had no other choice if he wanted to make pallatable to a population that still doesn't understand the gravity of our situation.

      I, for one, didn't need to be bribed with a tax cut to understand the need to make polluters pay.

      • It's not a bribe as I see it. The federal govt collects plenty of revenue in taxes (or they did at least until the Cons irresponsibly lowered the GST to 5% and removed the margin of error from federal budgeting). A carbon tax shouldn't be used to increase govt revenues. It should be used for the very specific purpose of disincentivizing fossil fuel consumption. The money raised should go right back into the pockets of Canadians.

        After all, it's not only Conservatives who believe the govt shouldn't tax more than necessary. Liberals, at their heart, are about empowering the individual. The Chrétien/Martin govt were very good fiscal managers and reduced taxes substantially near the end of their time in power. That's a record the party should be proud of and a tradition they should continue.

        • "Liberals, at their heart, are about empowering the individual."

          That's funny. At their heart, liberals don't trust people to take care of themselves and that's why they want to constantly expand power of State.

          • That doesn't really square with classical liberalisms tenants of sovereignty for the individual and governance by consent. Indeed, it sounds more like the conservative bent towards respecting social stability and deference to traditional institutions.

          • "That doesn't really square with classical liberalisms tenants of sovereignty for the individual and governance by consent."

            Which is the classical liberal party in Canada? Maybe the Libertarian Party but no others are.

            Every other party is either fascist or socialist, they just differ on degrees.

          • That response is way out there, even for you, Jolyon. Adding in Libertarians made it funny, as they can stand for anything and nothing at the same time (liberal, conservative, anarchist .. who cares, we're Libertarians … aka bulls%@tters!). You even managed to toss in fascists and socialists. All in 29 words. Bully for you.

      • Well, now it works in our favour twice! The problem with putting it into social spending is, we were putting it into social spending, and once you get used to a certain amount it is hard to stop funding at that level. When polluters stopped polluting that money would have to come from somewhere else.

        But we have this massive deficit at the moment, hopefully which will be reduced as polluters stop polluting. Money we need when we need it, and it need not be funded some other way when this funding dries up!

        Win, Win, and for Liberals who get to play 'gotcha', WIN!

        • If the personal tax credits are equal to carbon tax revenues then the personal tax credits would fade along with polluting companies. The hardest pill to swallow would be losing those tax credits but after that everything would go back to normal with the exception of carbon emissions.

          I think Dion's largest failing regarding communicating his green shift idea (aside from copying the name) starting his sales pitch with his expected outcome. Radical ideas are never popular and you have to build it up step by step to avoid a massive hysteria like we've seen in 2008.

  10. I think the Libs accused the Conservatives of wanting to implement 2-tier health care for about five years, so I figure the PM has at least two more year-ender freebies to go!

    Merry Christmas all!

    • Sorry, I don't accept "Merry Christmas" when it's used to offend.

      Happy Kwaanza to you.

      • A bag of burning festivus on your doorstep — your so-called leader used up his integrity creds eight minutes after being sworn in. Just because he doesn't have the power to implement 2-tier health care (but he certainly didn't stand up and make a heart-warming embrace of the Canadian system when it was being punted pillar to post by his rightwing loonies down south, did he?) doesn't mean his intentions aren't the same.
        I think your hairdye's the wrong shade of dense…

    • Excuse the grinches Joan. Merry Christmas to you !

    • Merry Christmas Joan.

      The lefties are an angry bunch. I would suggest sending some "Clean Coal" from Obama or China who account for over 40% and were blamed for the failing of COP15.

      Only our media and econuts think Canada was to blame with our 2% Co2 contribution.

      • Per capita, Canada IS the worst polluter. I thought that was commonly accepted…..or are the anti-climate change people challenging mathematics now too?

        • Cherry picking a single detail? Why are the alarmists asking a country located well above the equator to increase taxes to distribute wealth to dictators in less developed countries?

          The US and China account for over 40% and refused to cooperate in reducing their use of FOSSIL fuel. They will continue to increase their emmissions.

          Without the largest emmitters agreeing to share the same constraints it is unrealistic to expect Carbon Emmissions to be reduced.

          Can you provide a link where the developing countries and the largest emitters are going to REDUCE their emmission?

          or

          Are you and them just sucking and blowing again about doing something again?

  11. Robert Burns the Author of "Auld Lang Syne" was an avowed LIBERAL
    -Burns Scholar

  12. Please explain why Dion's Green Shift would hinder our ability to do business with the Americans.

  13. Our PM is such a weenie. What does he do at international conferences, hide behind the US Pres sucking his thumb?

    • He'd be easy to spot if he tried…

  14. Why can't he rule it out. Because Obama may rule it in to accept Oil from us. And since that means billions in sales, harper can't rule it out.
    But its a stupid big Gov't thing, unneeded to curb emmissions. Frankly lets just deal with coal plants, and we are set. those just south of lake ontario are massive and harmful to Canada. We should even lend them the money if needed for the upgrade, for health reasons, forget global-warming-gate.


  15. Did you know that the greenland ice sheet grew 2 inches this year.
    They say its melting 1 meter a year and its 3km thick. Therefore it will be 3000 years before the oceans will be 7 meters deeper. All those at the ocean levels would have gone, all the homes rotted, and all the Oil in the world long gone.

    But if Obama believes the lies of these false data science geeks, who chart temps they cannot prove over the last 100 years and have intentionally lowered even their own graphs to make today seem hotter, what are we going to do. If they believe the lies, we will end up with tax upon tax and no action because there isn't much you can do except go to nuclear that still creates heat, not CO2 but still heat.

    Just pray Obama doesn't act to Liberal and invent a Carbon tax. Its a bad policy with corruption written all over it and no action either.

    I would just rather see regulation and invention, and nuclear plants, Wind power in the right places, and homes converted to geothermal heat pumps.

    • You don't have to believe in global warming to be in favour of a carbon tax. It's stupid for all kinds of other reasons to base our economy on a non-renewaable and increasingly scarce energy source.

    • Good news and bad news Scott

      Good News: All indications are that PM Harper agrees with you on the global warming scam. His only clearly articulated statement of the subject is contained in a letter to Conservative faithful. While that letter is now clearly dated, he has never refuted the position he took in it. So it is fair to say his position stands.

      Bad News: What PM Harper believes is in the best long term interest of the country comes a distant second to whatever is in the short term interests of PM Harper.

      My suggestion is that if you want to like this guy learn to revel in the politics without paying too much attention to the governance.

      • Do you have a link to that letter?

  16. Do we have scientific proof that reducing carbon emission will halt or at least slow down global warming?

    No, I am not talking about the research "showing" whether carbon emission cause or trigger global warming; even if that's true, that does not mean reducing it will have reverse effect – some stuff in nature works as pandora boxes, only works one way. Is there any proof that carbon emission is not a lid of global warming pandora box?

    • We have proof a great deal of money is to be made by those pushing the Cap Trade Exchange. We have proof organized crime has made of with Billions and little has been done in Europe beside raising the hydro rates for the taxpayers.

      Germany has exempted their Auto Industry recently.
      http://canadiansense.blogspot.com/2009/12/coaliti

  17. Should old proposals be forgot,
    And never be at hand?
    Should old proposals be forgot,
    And poor Stéphane's Green Plan?

    For my Green Plan, Dion,
    For my Green Plan,
    I'll filch the scheme that I denounced,
    For my Green Plan!

    And I'll begin as I shall end,
    You'll end as you began:
    Believe me, there are many ways
    To slander my Green Plan!

    For my Green Plan, Dion,
    For my Green Plan,
    I'll filch the scheme that I denounced,
    For my Green Plan!

    We two once took the campaign trail,
    Across this northern land,
    But you, poor fool, just told the truth
    About my new Green Plan!

    For my Green Plan, Dion,
    For my Green Plan,
    I'll filch the scheme that I denounced,
    For my Green Plan!

    We two have glared across the aisle,
    My dearest also-ran,
    But you now sit towards the back,
    Because of my Green Plan!

    For my Green Plan, Dion,
    For my Green Plan,
    I'll filch the scheme that I denounced,
    For my Green Plan!

    And there's a hand, my trusty prof,
    For those to shake that can:
    Oops! Gotcha! God, I love that joke
    As much as my Green Plan!

    For my Green Plan, Dion,
    For my Green Plan,
    I'll filch the scheme that I denounced,
    For my Green Plan!

    • One of your better ones off the cuff Jack!

      • Thanks, Wabbit! But I regret not rhyming "Stéphane" with "Plan," it's tailor-made.

  18. Because I love tangents…

    If, and it is a big if, Parliament is prorogued until after the Olympics, does that give the House enough time to get around to tabling, debating, passing, same motions through the Senate and royal ascension of the home renovation tax credit that millions has been spent promoting in time for tax season?

    Or can it be brought in with a spending bill and enacted immediately?

    • Moot point: Bill C-51 Economic Reocvery Act (stimulus) received Royal Assent on December 15, 2009.

      • Good old Moot… always has a point.

      • thanks for indulging my mootiness.

  19. In other news, Stephane Dion had to be transported to hospital for evaluation after falling out of his chair and repeatedly shouting in hysterics "But..But…That was MY idea!"

  20. Well, if a carbon tax makes sense for Rex Tillerson and Exxon Mobil, why is it such a third rail for Canadians? Perhaps it might have to do with the lack of honest debate about the options: 1. do nothing; 2. do what the US says (whether it makes sense for Canada or not); 3. cap and trade; 4. carbon tax; 5. cap and trade plus carbon tax. Old Rex is worries about creating a Wall Street of emissions brokers … that's why he backs a straight carbon tax.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/

    Taxing the consumption of energy is, by most accounts, the best mechanism for stimulating conservation and finding more efficient means for producing energy. A cap and trade system on the other hand creates an exchange of derivatives … units of trade disconnected from the actual commodity … and may do little to reduce emissions or influence new energy investment. Indeed, if an enterprise is sufficiently profitable, one may be incented to emit more under cap and trade rather than less.

    A tax on energy consumption (carbon) is coming. Best to set one up ourselves to ensure the tax revenue stays here and isn't "traded" to a refinery in Texas via a broker in Chicago.

    Iggy could still revive the issue … but there's no risk in being a "me too" player on this topic.

  21. The Green Shift was NOT the only most of the electorate knew about Dion. The attack ads depicting Dion as a buffoon, the press constantly mocking Dion, the betrayals from his own caucus, those are the things that Canadians knew of Dion. The man was depicted as a weakling, a gutless idiot scared of his own shadow and his french accent was mocked by everyone (remember the taunts about the "pillars"?).

    I think that those are the things that the CTV interview crystalized for a lot of the people who went to the polls.

    • Agreed. The election was most definitely not a referendum on the carbon tax. That being said, I do concede the idea was unpopular (when is any kind of tax ever popular?) That's why I wouldn't put it front and centre in any future election platform.

      • No chance of that happening with Iggy singing the praises of the Tar Sands these days.

        • See above.

  22. Dion's carbon tax – Steve's carbon tax …[ putative]

    Difference: Steve got permission from Uncle Sam first.

    OK. Technically Steve's only gonna do it if US makes him…now that's better.

    • kcm, I don't think that this is a matter of Harper wanting to do the US' bidding. I think that Harper actually believes that Canadians will give him a pass on his inaction as long as he can link it back to Obama's administration.

      As most tories do, Harper believes that Canadians who love Obama will look the other way if he constantly reminds people that Obama isn't doing much either.

      • Actually it's quite a clever if somewhat cynical strategy on Harper's part.
        "Look at Obama,even he's excepting certain industries and taking care of his own first…why should we be any different"?
        And it appears to be workng…tying himself to Obama that is. Except Obama may be tiring of the game, as evidenced at Copenhagen, with the refusal of a photo op and shutting out of Canada at a couple of Obama led meetings. Almost as if O's decided not to provide cover any more to a guy who'd rather piss in the soup than drink it. Maybe Obama's decided he needs real allies, not fairweather friends on this issue?

    • And Conservatives think of Harper as a leader….

  23. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today he hopes he won't have to impose a carbon tax on Canadians as part of the fight to reduce global warming – but admitted he couldn't entirely rule it out"

    Actually i might have accepted this if he hadn't told all those goddamn unnecessary lies during the last election. Things change, facts change. And as Keynes said:" i don't know about you, but when the facts change, i change my mind." But the essential facts haven't changed have they? Harper could have made the case for waiting to see what the US would do back then. "It's the wrong policy at the wrong time sorta thing"…but no; it's take the man, discredit the idea everytime with him.
    I find it hard to believe that SH has any bipartisan support among politicians in this country at all…he's burned so many bridges, torched so many people…often unnecessarily in my view. It's like watching someone wield a wrecking ball to renovate the bathroom. One can only watch and wonder why, and to what end?

    • Unfortunately, Harper's well on record what he thinks of facts. Now expedient betrayals without integrity, that's more his style…

    • As I've said before. I am not opposed to Conservative rule, but there is no way in Hell I will ever support a government led by Stephen Harper

  24. I'm sorry. You lost me there. What did Iggy try, exactly?

    • to advocate for a carbon tax regime?

  25. Without a doubt the greatest heist in history. The tin pot dictators of alot of these so called 3rd world countries are in nirvana over this!!!!

  26. Harper – do as I say, not as I do.

    What a liar this man is.

    Harperliar.

  27. I suspect that exemptions from this scheme would be extended to manufacturers, tar sand extractors and coal power plants.

    • and cars, people, air conditioners, as well as the animal, mineral and vegetable kindgoms.

    • I appreciate the joke, but *if* a carbon tax is imposed from the US side, I suspect that it will hit its intended target all the same; the production of oil – the Tar Sands. So even if there is some 'Made in Canada' policy exempting that production in Canada the largest market just might have a say.

  28. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today he hopes he won't have to impose a carbon tax on Canadians as part of the fight to reduce global warming – but admitted he couldn't entirely rule it out."

    PM can do whatever he likes, outside forces can't make him do anything he doesn't wish to.

    As I have been saying for long time now, Cons are in office but not in power.

  29. McC, Dion did the real advocating, not Iggy.

    • Either or. Two Libranos declaring CO2 a pollutant to expand the tax base to cover existence itself. No surprise it came from academics.

      • The green shift was reducing income tax to compensate for an increased tax on products made by a polluting process. It's not expanding the tax base if taxes are shifted from citizen to industry.

        • Yep. And good 'ol 'industry' will take it on the chin for all us nice citizens, huh?

  30. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today that he hopes he won't have to screw everyone in Canada, plunge us all into a recession and revive Quebec's separatist movement – but admitted he couldn't entirely rule it out.

  31. REAL environmentalists would be overjoyed, ecstatic, relieved and in full party mode at the very thought of a climate crisis being averted, thanks to the smoking icebergs of Climate Gate. You self serving doomers trying to scare our kids with death by CO2 will evaporate back into the pop culture you came very soon abd thank God for that.

    • Awful lot of comments on the "Climate Gate……have the right-wing nut-job website offline or something?

  32. Welcome to the new global religion. Politicians, spiritual leaders, the Pope, corporations, Wall St., scientists, governments, the wealthiest families, the media – spanning the globe.
    REAL environmentalists would be overjoyed, ecstatic, relieved and in full party mode at the very thought of a climate crisis being averted, thanks to the smoking icebergs of Climate Gate. You self serving doomers trying to scare our kids with death by CO2 will evaporate back into the pop culture you came very soon abd thank God for that.
    When did politicians choose environment over jobs?
    When did spiritual leaders put their beliefs aside to unite under a new flag?

  33. When did Wall St. start caring about the earth and the poor populations?
    When did corporations find social responsibility profitable for shareholders?
    When did scientists stop debating science?
    Why are governments choose to give away control of their energy, under treaty?
    When did the wealthiest families decide to protect the impoverished?
    When did big media become a weapon for the wealthy?
    When did saving people leverage support when over population is staring it in the face.
    Oh, did I mention the planet is NOT dying? Emergency over. Real environmentalists are happy about climate gate's smoking icebergs and are the ones that truely care about the environment.
    If you think fear is the only motivator then march yourself right into history.

  34. As Michael Ignatieff said: "We can do better".

    I hope everyone here votes for the Ignatieff Liberals in the next election. The Liberals have a proud record on environmental issues. We supported Kyoto (heck, we even signed it) and we were getting it done. Then ReformaCON Stephen Harper came in and ruined it all.

    • "The Liberals have a proud record on environmental issues."

      Are you being sarcastic?

  35. can anyone name a single policy plank that SH promised before becoming PM that he has not flip flopped on?

    • The GST cut. You know, that promise that every economist worth his salt said was stupid, and is responsible for the $12 billion annual STRUCTURAL part of our deficit. He's proud of having kept that promise.
      Of course, according to Con spokespeople, it was good policy because it enabled them to get elected and go back on everyhting else they ever stood for.

      • damn, how could i forget that one?

  36. The CRU is has not been practicing the scientific method for almost two decades. The scientific method requires that the researcher publish the original data, models and procedures needed for a skeptical analysis of any of their work. Since they are not using the scientific method then they simply are not doing science, they are writing fiction.

    Ponds and Fleishman may have been wrong, but they were at least real scientists. They did their experiments, published the results and their data, procedures and description of the apparatus and the methods. They where shown to be in error, fine, but they were still scientific in their work. The outputs from the CRU are in comparison junk, so I ask, why are these fictional ‘research' papers allowed to remain in the realm of scientific publications? Why do people continue to quote the CRU as if they were the work of Einstein rather then the work of Mark Twain?

  37. Here is the difference between 2008 and 2009. In 2008, George W. Bush was still president, and though it looked like Obama would win, it was unclear what Obama would do as president. Dion was proposing a unilateral carbon tax in the middle of a recession. What that means is that carbon-intensive Canadian goods (aka. most of Canada's exports) would be at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis our largest trading partner.

    In 2009 it looks like the US will implement a cap and trade which effectively prices carbon. That means we can do the same, without putting our industries at a competitive disadvantage. On top of that, the recession is over now. 2009 is very different from 2008, however, God forbid that journalists understand nuance in favour of exposing HYPOCRISY! God forbid also that the same environmentalist lefties that created voteforenvironment.ca cheer a little as the government begins to discuss the very set of policies that made voteforenvironment.ca a Liberal shill. However, that would require environmentalists to be something other than partisan warriors in a perceived culture war – which few are.

    • Brilliant comment !

    • "Dion was proposing a unilateral carbon tax in the middle of a recession." Oh really, was that the context of Dion's proposal? What did our PM say at the time? oh yeah: "My own belief is if we were going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now."
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/story/2008/09/
      According to classical liberal economics, the "unilaterality" of the proposal is a red herring too, see David Ricardo on Great Britain's unilateral adoption of free trade in the XIXth.

      • Further, if memory serves, Dion said he would not put into effect any measures that would bring Canada into debt. He was proposing a plan, but its implementation was linked to the health of the Canadian economy.

        Harper's plan is linked to the will of the elected representatives of another country, whether it “screws everybody” across Canada, whether it plunges Canada into recession, sparks economic unrest or revives Quebec's separatist movement. Harper is willing to do this to Canada because he knows he would not have to be held responsible for the consequences – he'll blame the US!

    • So you think some of us perceive that we are in a cultural war because we're unhappy that the decision makers in our society, the people who created the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the hedge fund managers that manipulated share prices and currencies, and the tar sands developers should be accountable for the impacts their decisions make?

      I suppose it's fine with you that the CEOs who left companies in a stinking mess floated away on golden parachutes, and CPP should just pick up the slack for the looted pension funds? That we should all just be passive recipients of increased acid precipitation and all cut our personal emissions so that Suncor's executive can make bonuses, and leave the mess behind when they've sold all the oil?

      All the impacts have been externalized; there is no market discipline, no matter how many petty shareholders are willing to continue suspending their disbelief.

      If saying that makes me an "environmental lefty" send me the T-shirt.

  38. This carbon tax that the Criminal Mafia Elites and Rogues want at the United Nations has nothing to do with climate or environmental protection it is about the Global Elitists acquiring a tax from all countries of the world to support and help set up a Communist One World Government! None of this money will go to third world countries! Look they already played bait and switch on them at the Copenhagen Summit, as they found out they won't be getting all the money they were told they;d be getting from the west and on top of that they would be charged an even higher emissions tax than developed countries! That is what we are at war here with an Elitist regime that will use this emmissions tax you send to them to work against you, your Sovereignty and your freedom! The people that run this scam are at the top 1% of the wealth chain on the earth and they want to take away: Your Sovereignty, Your Freedom, Your Money, Your Property as well as have you dependant on them and you as their slave! Wake up to reality this has nothing to do with with Climate Change! Remember Adolph Hiter's ethnic cleansing Eugenics, well this is similar only severely worse than what he did – should these Globalists succeed with their plan!

  39. This carbon tax that the Criminal Mafia Elites and Rogues want at the United Nations and IMF has nothing to do with climate or environmental protection it is about the Global Elitists acquiring a tax from all countries of the world to support and help set up a Communist One World Government! None of this money will go to third world countries!

  40. This carbon tax that the Criminal Mafia Elites and Rogues want at the United Nations has nothing to do with climate or environmental protection it is about the Global Elitists acquiring a tax from all countries of the world to support and help set up a Communist One World Government! None of this money will go to third world countries! Look they already played bait and switch on them at the Copenhagen Summit, as they found out they won't be getting all the money they were told they

  41. Agence France-Presse
    December 30, 2009

    France's new carbon emission tax, due to have gone into effect tomorrow, has been ruled illegal by the country's constitutional court because it exempted too many polluters.

    The Conseil Constitutionnel struck down the tax on Tuesday because the exemptions breached ”the principle of [tax] equality”.

    It estimated that 93 per cent of industrial emissions outside of fuel use, including those of more than 1000 of the country's most polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax of €17 ($27) a tonne of emitted carbon dioxide.

    The ruling is a blow for the President, Nicolas Sarkozy, as the measure was one of his flagship initiatives to cut emissions. It also leaves the Government with a €4.1 billion hole in its 2010 budget.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/court-throws-ou