By Medicine Hat News Opinon on April 21, 2017.
Eat, drink, be merry, take selfies, fly around the world on public relations missions and spend, for tomorrow the big bucks to pay for it will flow in from Alberta.
We are talking $280 million in carbon tax revenue for the federal government from carbon taxes in Alberta and B.C., according to reports released this week. The provinces will have to collect GST on the carbon tax. Not only will we pay a carbon tax but we will pay a tax on a tax.
The carbon tax was supposed to be all about a deep commitment to address climate change, we were told. There may be a measure of truth to that at the federal and provincial level but don’t underestimate the power of all that revenue. Money talks.
Many Albertans have not warmed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and this latest news will not help. Around the world the euphoria of Canada’s young, good looking, prime minister is also beginning to turn sour.
The Guardian newspaper in the U.K., in an editorial by Bill McKibben, calls Trudeau a “hypocrite” for climbing on board the climate change bandwagon and then approving pipelines for transporting oil from Alberta. The headline reads: “Stop swooning over Justin Trudeau. The man is a disaster for the planet.”
In Canada the “hypocrite” label applies because of a range of election promises he made and then did not follow through on. There is electoral reform that died, as did Trudeau’s election promise of a $10 billion a year deficit for the first three years in government. Voters swallowed hard at the boast of that deficit projection. The latest budget deficit of more than $25 billion for this year alone has voters aghast.
The recent budget removed a tax credit for public transit users. If you don’t use public transport that may not seem like a big deal but it is for those using transit.
It goes much deeper than that, though. If we are serious about climate change we should be using every opportunity to persuade people to manage with one car instead of two and use public transport instead. So how serious is the government about climate change or is this about raising revenue?
So we have a list of unfulfilled promises. If shareholders approved the hiring of an executive who provided a list of promises/objectives and then did not follow the executive would be fired for being hired under fall pretenses.
If we ever hope to restore confidence in politics and politicians and get people out to vote in elections there will need to be penalties for broken promises.
(Gillian Slade is a News reporter. To comment on this and other editorials, go to https://www.medicinehatnews.com/opinions or call her at 403-528-8635.)
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