By Letter to the Editor on January 11, 2019.
Re: “MP disregards ‘mountain of evidence’ about carbon tax,” Jan. 4
Everyone should be free to share their views and not have their opinions stifled, even if one disagrees with them. However Mr. Gue’s recent letter suggesting that a carbon tax is going to somehow magically improve our emissions challenges is simply inaccurate. Readers of this publication are owed a correction on some mischaracterizations.
First, if we are going to compare Canada to other countries with a carbon tax, it should be an apples-to-apples comparison. Mr. Gue cited Sweden, however their carbon tax targeted energy sources at a time when Sweden derived one-third of its energy from burning fossil fuels. Canada has predominantly clean energy sources (81 per cent non-emitting sources) — improvements can be made but not under the Liberal plan. The Liberals are providing carbon tax exemptions to coal power plants and other large industrial emitters so reducing high-emissions is clearly not part of the plan. Canada’s carbon tax, which is applied to everything in contrast to Sweden’s targeted one, means average Canadians and not polluters are facing the costs. The “price on pollution” is patently not the solution. By the way, Canada has had a federal tax on gasoline since 1995 — this is effectively a real carbon tax at 10 cents per litre.
Interestingly enough, Norway has had both a carbon tax and an oil and gas industry. Their emissions have gone up.
Mr. Gue also cites economist William Nordhaus — a Yale professor and Nobel Laureate for his work on a global carbon tax. His work, as noted by the Financial Post in October, requires “clubs of nations” participating in the same carbon tax regime, with sanctions on non-participating countries. It describes Trudeau’s plan as one that “will not and cannot work.” The fact is that the largest emissions reductions in 2017 were from the United States — 42 mega tonnes (mt) of reduced emissions, without a carbon tax. China, by contrast, increased its output by 119 mt. This has raised the costs of most everything from groceries to home heating, while giving large emitters a free pass to pollute is just wrong — and does nothing to reduce our emissions.
There is a distinct difference between pollution-sourced taxation invoked in other countries, and advocated by various think tanks, and the carbon tax plan put forward by Trudeau’s Liberals. Our carbon tax will leave Canadians with less money in their pockets and our emissions will be the same — or worse.
(The writer is MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.)
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