July 21st, 2018

Barnes, Kenney shallow on carbon tax

By Letter to the Editor on March 9, 2018.

In his February MLA Report, Cypress-Medicine Hat’s Drew Barnes states Alberta’s carbon tax is “job-killing” and is “on the backs of everyday Albertans.” He and United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney parrot the “job-killing” description when they speak of this tax because attitudinally and terminologically they are still stuck in Harper-think and Harper-speak. The former PM often used “job-killing” whe he spoke of a carbon tax and, for someone with a master’s degree in economic, the issue was simplistic and shallow. So is the analysis of the issue by Barnes and Kenney.

A recent example of the inaccuracy of Barnes’ statement can be found on the front page of the Jan. 6 edition Medicine Hat News. In that paper there was an article that said job creation in Canada in 2017 was at a pace not seen since 2002 annd that in December 2017 Alberta gained 26,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 6.9 per cent. The Alberta carbon tax came into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Other provinces have carbon taxes. The federal government has imposed carbon taxes on provinces which don’t institute their own, yet the Canadian job creation rate has increased to its highest level in 15 years.

Alberta’s carbon tax revenue is invested, at about $1 billion per year in renewable energy sources, in “green” infrastructure and energy efficiency programs. Businesses undertaking these initiatives need employees, something Barnes and Kenney don’t acknowledge. Why? Kenney promises to scrap the carbon tax. Presumably none of the investments noted above mean anything to him. Welcome to Jason Kenney’s Alberta. Please set your clocks for 1950.

To offset the impact of the carbon tax on low- and middle-income earners the province has sent rebate cheques. Since those earnrs have the carbon tax rebated to them, I conclude, based on Barnes’ assertion the carbon tax is on the backs of everyday Albertans, that to him “everyday Albertans” are high-income earners and they ought not to have to pay the tax. Why?

A recent economic forecast by ATB predicts growth of between two and three per cent for this year and next. I assume they took the carbon tax into account. Can jobs be “killed” in an expanding economy? B.C. has had a carbon tax since 2008 and has had the fastest growing provincial economy for years.

Lastly, I’d like Barnes and Kenney too explain why international energy corporations like Shell, Cenovus, Suncor, TransCanada and Enbridge are all members of the Carbon pricing Leadership Coalition, an international group of about 1,000 businesses that believe a tax on carbon will cut greenhouse gas emissions and will, in their words, “maintain competitiveness.” Businesses don’t let employees go when they are competitive.

Barnes and Kenney must do a lot more than repeat Harperian non-thought if they want to be believable.

Gregory Cote

Irvine, Alta.

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4 Responses to “Barnes, Kenney shallow on carbon tax”

  1. Fedup Conservative says:

    Gregory has said it all. Why would Barnes , Kenney, and the new federal conservative leader Andrew Scheer deliberately destroy what the oil industry has created to show the world we are trying to do something about our air pollution to try to open up new markets for our oil and get the celebrities off our backs? The fact is their only mandate is to turn everything our governments do around to use them as tactics to fool the ignorant Albertans into believing these governments are out to financially destroy them just, like we have seen Brian Jean and Jason Kenney do. It’s not about helping the oil industry it’s about playing mind games with the fools who are willing to believe them. Ralph Klein was a master at it.

    For years our hero Peter Lougheed told the Klein and Stelmach governments to slow down the expansion of the oilsands and get control of the pollution, but they wouldn’t listen to him. So now that the oil industry is trying to do something about it, with the two governments help, these Reformers, trying to pretend they are conservatives, are trying to use it to their advantage and it’s working on a lot of our fellow seniors who apparently aren’t smart enough to see through it. The young people aren’t buying it, they know we have got to do something about our pollution.

    Of course these Reformers ignore what their hero Ralph Klein did to us with his Deregulation. One of Lougheed’s former MLAs told me in 2003 that it was the dirtiest trick Klein could have played on the Alberta people and as he pointed out it will cost us billions of extra dollars, and cost people their jobs and it has. A friend lost his 75 year old family business when his power bills increased by $82,000 per year. The Carbon Tax won’t be nearly as destructive as deregulation has been. It will accualy help some people out, as Gregory has pointed out.

  2. Fedup Conservative says:

    To add to what Gregory and I have previously said. Brian Jean is just the latest one to abandon the party, likely knowing their days are numbered and if that wasn’t bad enough Jason Kenney’s big party in Cochrane was a real bust only 90 people showed up out of a population of 26,000, it pretty much proves what people think of him and the lies they have been spreading. Want to bet 80% of them were our fellow seniors, letting themselves be treated like morons? That’s what my friends and I have been seeing. But then it’s a well known fact that con-artists target seniors because it’s so easy to do.I wonder if Les Landry is still going around bad mouthing our NDP government, who are looking better every day to the true conservatives?

  3. tonio5 says:

    FuC, you keep living in the past and the only one that hears you, is yourself. Your comments never change. I think deep down inside you miss good ol’ Ralph.

  4. Fedup Conservative says:

    That’s because tonio5 it was Ralph Klein who put this province in financial ruin and we are still paying for his stupidity. Can you explain why you paid the highest power bills in Canada for 14 years, and are still paying the second highest? Have you not wondered why you are paying the highest property taxes, or the highest vehicle registration fees. The list goes on and on but don’t take my word for it go out and find a lawyer, accountant, oilman, banker or former MLA they certainly know why we are in this financial mess, and Norway and Alaska aren’t. It’s because ignorant Albertans supported Ralph Klein and apparently you are another one who doesn’t like to hear anything bad said against him, too bad, if you don’t like what I write don’t read it.

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