Royal Galipeau has an oddly selective memory

The Conservative MP for Ottawa-Orleans rose before Question Period yesterday to recount what Megan Leslie had said the day before.

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in this chamber the NDP member for Halifax quoted the Prime Minister as stating in November 2008, “…our Government has opted not to apply carbon taxes”.

Mr. Galipeau was apparently hoping that anyone listening to him yesterday hadn’t been listening the day before. Or maybe he himself had only heard half of what Ms. Leslie said on Tuesday.

For everyone’s benefit, the full sentence, spoken by the Prime Minister in 2008, is as follows.

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.  

And therein lies the farce.

For the record, Royal Galipeau was first elected as a Conservative in 2006 and he was a Conservative MP in 2008 when the party endorsed “a domestic cap-and-trade system.” He was a Conservative MP when Jim Flaherty committed $66 million towards establishing a “price on carbon” and when, as noted above, Stephen Harper promised “a price on carbon of $65 a tonne” and when John Baird said “the establishment of a market price on carbon are key parts of our Turning the Corner plan to cut Canada’s greenhouse gases.”

When Mr. Galipeau ran for relection in 2008, the party platform he ran on included a promise to pursue a continental cap-and-trade system. He was a Conservative MP when that pledge was repeated in that year’s Throne Speech. He was a Conservative MP a year later when Jim Prentice announced an offset system that would “generate real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions … by establishing a price on carbon.” He was a Conservative MP when the Harper government claimed in December 2009 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.” He was a Conservative MP in May 2011 when Peter Kent allowed that a continental cap-and-trade system could be something to consider in the future. And he is presently a Conservative MP in a Conservative government that refuses to definitively rule out implementing a cap-and-trade system if the United States is prepared to do likewise.