Climate concerned voters beware of the Conservatives’ carbon tax 

Climate concerned voters beware of the Conservatives’ carbon tax 


Statement from Jonathan Wilkinson, Liberal candidate for North Vancouver:

Climate change is accelerating, Canadians want action and experts agree that the Liberals have the best plan to get the job done.

While it is clear that the Conservatives have a plan for more pipelines, more tankers and more pollution, their carbon tax scheme is still a big question mark.

“All of the details, we haven’t determined yet,” a Conservative spokesperson said in April (Twitter, 16 April 2021).

Less than a week from election day, the details are still missing.  In fact, Mr. O’Toole has been hiding from talking about climate change this entire campaign – he hasn’t made a policy announcement or tweeted about it in over two months. On an issue as important as climate change, it is important for O’Toole to fill in the blanks:

  • How can the Conservatives carbon tax reduce carbon pollution if it rewards carbon consumption?
  • The Conservatives have said their reward system, the low carbon savings account, “may be managed by a consortium of companies.” Which companies?
  • In provinces where the O’Toole Conservative carbon tax applies, would the federal government track every litre of gasoline that every Canadian consumes? When Stephen Harper’s former policy director was asked to make the case for such a task, Rachel Curran responded, “I really can’t though” (Twitter, 11 September 2021). 
  • How long would it take to implement such a system and how much would it cost to administer?
  • The Conservatives say their personal low carbon savings account could only be used for green products to help Canadians “live a greener life.” Would the federal government determine which products are green and track Canadians’ green purchases and accounts?
  • Will the vast majority of families come out ahead, as they do under the Liberal plan? Will families who are the least well off continue to benefit the most, as they do under the Liberal plan (Parliamentary Budget Officer, 25 April 2019)? 
  • Mr. O’Toole has said that he would let the provinces do nothing to fight climate change, should they wish to do so. (Twitter, 11 September 2021). Does this mean Mr. O’Toole would allow provinces to make pollution free again, should they wish to do so?

It is incumbent on Mr. O’Toole to explain to climate concerned voters if and how this policy would really work and how much it would actually cost.

Without these answers, it appears the Conservatives’ carbon tax is a smokescreen – an unworkable, intrusive scheme designed to never be implemented. So complex and cumbersome, let alone ineffective, it serves only to allow Erin O’Toole to pretend as though he and his team full of climate skeptics might actually act on climate change.

It’s the same old Conservative story, whether we’re talking about gun laws, vaccine mandates or climate policy. Erin O’Toole pretends to echo the concerns of Canadians, while winking to his base that it’s all a sham.

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