(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By Candice Malcolm
June 26, 2018
It looks like the game is up and the Liberal carbon tax racket is coming apart at the seams.
As recently as early 2018, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the Liberals would impose their carbon tax from coast to coast. The Trudeau government mandated the tax hike but ordered the provinces to impose and administer the tax.
It’s crafty politics, since the provincial governments, not Trudeau and his team of climate zealots, would carry the burden of imposing the largest tax increase in a generation.
The governments of both Ontario (out-going Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne) and Alberta (the NDP’s Rachel Notley) won election victories without mentioning the tax, only to quickly impose it after being elected.
The sole glimmer of hope for Canadian taxpayers came from Saskatchewan.
First, Premier Brad Wall firmly told the Trudeau government that he refused to impose the tax. If the feds wanted to force carbon taxes onto Saskatchewan, they’d have to do it in court.
Wall retired last year, and his successor Scott Moe has picked up right where Wall left off.
“The carbon tax plan is wrong for our province,” said Moe in a recent speech. “As an economic plan, it’s a total disaster. As an environmental plan, it’s not worth the paper that David Suzuki’s University of Alberta honorary degree is written on.”
Meanwhile in Ontario, former PC Leader Patrick Brown included carbon taxes in his platform, despite the tax being deeply unpopular. After the ousting of Brown as leader, he was replaced by the outspoken carbon tax critic Doug Ford.
On June 7, Ford was elected in a landslide, and will become Ontario Premier on June 29. He’s pledged to scrap the $2 billion carbon pricing scheme and pull Ontario out of the notoriously fraudulent cap-and-trade system with Quebec and California.
We’re also less than a year away from the provincial election in Alberta, where polls show that United Conservative leader Jason Kenney holds a commanding lead and is favoured to oust the NDP government.
Kenney is a fierce critic of carbon taxes, and has vowed to work with Ford and Moe to challenge the constitutionality of Trudeau’s tax mandate.
Just like that, the tables have turned in Canada.
The Liberals aren’t going down without a fight, and the usual green evangelists have ratcheted up their name-calling and fear-mongering campaign over climate change.
It doesn’t help that Ford seems committed to reducing carbon emissions without having a specific alternative plan. The reality is that even with heavy-handed carbon taxes, Canada has no hope of reaching Trudeau’s pie-in-the-sky pledges made in the Paris Climate agreement.
As my colleague Lorrie Goldstein put it in a recent column, “everyone who can add has concluded that hell will freeze over before Canada meets its 2020 and 2030 emission reduction promises Trudeau made to the UN.”
Interestingly, a new study from researchers at Cambridge University predicts that new technology and changing attitudes will make fossil fuels increasingly undesirable and eventually, obsolete.
The study states that, “low-carbon technology diffusion, energy efficiency and climate policy may be substantially reducing global demand for fossil fuels.”