Carbon taxes will fuel Canadian populism
Accidental Premier Notley is doing all she can to guarantee she never gets a second mandate in Alberta, one would think that Ontarioans would rid themselves of Wynne ASAP and Junior Trudeau, almost 18 months into his mandate, has proven that he's in way over his head. None of them are paying attention to the electorate and all need to pay the political price.If and when Canadians give the establishment the boot, it will be over energy prices, carbon taxes and green schemes, more than any other issues.
A recent Edelman poll revealed a whopping 80% of Canadians have had it with the elites. No wonder. There are so many topics where the establishment consensus and its media enablers are disconnected from the concerns of regular people.
We see this in the Canadian values debate. We see it with people’s legitimate concerns about border security. And in how they’ve lost patience with political correctness and moral relativism.
These issues are without a doubt at play in the rising populist sentiments in this country. But for most people they remain ideas and abstractions. They don't negatively impact our wallets or our quality of life, at least not yet. The same can’t be said for carbon taxes. The headlines keep coming about the dire straits people are in, partly due to an ideologically driven green agenda foisted upon them without their say.
High energy prices have led to small businesses closing down, manufacturers heading south, credit card debt piling up, dumpster diving for food, borrowing money from churches to pay the bills, kids wearing snowsuits indoors to keep warm and so on. Last year, these troubles were most acutely felt by people in rural Ontario, many of whom heat their homes with electricity. Then, on Jan. 1, Ontario and Alberta introduced carbon pricing schemes – cap and trade in Ontario, a carbon tax in Alberta. The rates will go up again next year.
Provinces are already trying to combat these problems with rebate programs. The Alberta NDP wisely did it from the get-go. But Ontario’s Liberals are only now rolling out rebates in a bid to save their political skin. They will help, but they won’t eliminate people’s anger and frustration. Too much harm has already been done. The wounds are real and raw. Every time people fill up at the pumps or pay their home heating bill, they’re reminded of this cynical agenda.
You’d think the political class would read the tea leaves and smarten up. Australia introduced a carbon tax in 2012 and it was so unpopular and harmful that an election was fought over it. That brought a new government to power that promptly axed the tax in 2014. But instead of learning from Ontario and Australia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still plans to mandate this harm cross-country – imposing a national carbon price on any province that doesn’t impose its own.
Carbon tax advocates are now doubling down on this insanity. They tell us creating a massive carbon pricing regime that is clearly vulnerable to exploitation is justified so long as it is “revenue neutral”, citing the British Columbia model as an example, even though research by the Fraser Institute suggests it’s not. Of course, if you drag enough indecipherable numbers that confirm your bias on either side of the ledger, you can get yourself to a position where you can technically argue revenue neutrality exists. But revenue neutral carbon taxes work in the same way communism does ... in the heads of ivory tower theorists blind to the suffering of regular people.
It gets worse when you step away from the mainstream media narrative and keep in mind this could very well all be for nothing. There are inconvenient facts activists don’t want you to dwell on: How Canada makes an insignificant contribution to global greenhouse gases. How there is no guarantee lowering emissions will alter global temperature patterns.
To monkey around with energy rates and tax necessities because it fits in with an ideological agenda is the epitome of elitism.
That is why this issue festers in the minds of so many voters. It transcends conventional political lines.
I see the frustrations online every day, read them in my inbox and hear them on my voicemail. Expect it to come to the ballot box soon.