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Mark Francis answers your questions on Green Shift.

Mark, if you’re not aware, runs the blog Section 15. He’s a former Green turned Liberal, and he’s gotten a bit of fame from this case (which he will probably tell you he’d rather not have).

Anyhow, Mark has been doing a very good job of responding to critics and questions about the Green Shift at his own blog and at various blog comment sites. I saw a question tonight that was asked why couldn’t the Green Shift be regional rather then national, where provinces would keep the revenue from a carbon tax rather then it being administered as a national program, and here is Mark’s reply:

If one is […]


Don’t let facts get in the way of your fearmongering.

Facts can be so inconvenient sometimes:

Liberal officials say a large portion of carbon tax would be collected in Alberta, given that Alberta companies emit more than 40 per cent of carbon emissions from major facilities in Canada. Many of those are oil, gas and mining facilities. In the fourth year of their plan, the tax would be $40 per tonne of emissions, with the 700 large final emitters across Canada – heavy industry and power plants – paying the majority of an estimated $15 billion tax revenues. Alberta’s share of income tax cuts, aimed in part at offsetting higher home heating and other prices as the tax is passed […]


Blog Maintenance – testing a spam plugin.

Hi folks.. on a rather unsettled Sunday weatherwise, I thought I’d do some testing of a specific plugin I use called Wp-Spamfree, whose button you may have noticed at the bottom of my my 3rd sidepanel where I keep my buttons/logos.

It apparently has been overzealous in preventing some of you from posting even when you turn on cookies and javascript as it requests. The author of this plugin believe there is a conflict with another of my plugins, and the main suspect right now is the AJAX Edit comments plugin, which allows users to edit their comments up to a specific time limit. It uses Ajax as it […]


More examples/evidence of climate change in North America, & why policies like “Green Shift” need to be implemented.

The very term “global warming” is unfortunately used by some sceptics to falsely deny that anything environmentally bad is happening on Earth nowadays; in their minds, if a region of Canada gets record snowfall, or if China gets record cold, that automatically debunks the theory, because that surely shows it isn’t getting warmer. What the reality of the situation is that the overwhelming scientific consensus worldwide is that “global warming” will lead to climate change, which will lead to an increase in extremes and unpredictability of weather conditions.

You can see those extremes just south of the border. Everyone knows about the extreme flooding in the US Midwest – […]


Harmonizing more then just carbon taxes.

I caught this story over at Steve’s place last night about Liberal leader Stephane Dion talking to BC Premier Gordon Campbell about harmonizing the 2 carbon taxes in order to make sure they work together and don’t overlap.

I would also not be surprised if there wasn’t talk of harmonizing on another matter – that being to both BC and the federal Liberals to respond equally forcefully on attacks the federal Conservatives under Stephen Harper will lead on Dion’s “Green Shift”. Remember, when Campbell brought his version of a carbon tax in – John Baird made a statement saying more or less claiming that BC’s approach complimented the federal Conservatives […]


The Green Shift: evil marxist plot or subtly (c)onservative policy?

With regards to the Green Shift, it’s interesting to me that there are some folks out there who describe this Green Shift plan the Liberals are advocating as the work of Marxists, all designed to enslave Western Canada and enrich the East, while paradoxically, Andrew Coyne, that famous socialist columnist at Macleans, describes the current state of affairs – at least with regards to environmental policy – as the Liberals becoming like the Conservatives and the Conservatives turning into the 1970’s version of the NDP:

This is simply extraordinary. Where the Liberals talk of using price signals and harnessing market forces, the Tories now boast of their commitment to top-down, command-and-control regulations. Its all prohibit this and require that, as opposed to the Liberals, who would gasp! allow companies to pay more to pollute! The importance of this shift cannot be overstated. For fifty years or more, conservatives have preached that taxes affect peoples behaviour, that incentives matter, that if you tax something, you get less of it. But now, suddenly, they dont matter not when compared to the miracle of regulation. For fifty years or more, conservatives have also said that prices are the vital signalling device of a market economy, informing consumers, workers, investors and businesses as to the costs of different choices. But now, suddenly, theyre irrelevant. Subsidies sorry, investments are the new Tory orthodoxy.

Some other prominent people (and apparently socialist/Marxist folks, if they support this, if I were to believe the label some conservative and libertarian bloggers are painting on anyone who advocates this) that have commented on this include the President of the economic think-tank CD Howe Institute, who rejects the notion that the Green Shift is “NEP II” as some westerners claim; or how about that Trotskyite Tom D’Acquino, president of the radical left-wing group, The Canadian Council of Chief Executives, who has been on record before as supporting a carbon tax, and if you read between the lines, prefers the Liberal Green Shift plan to the Conservatives current facade of a plan on the environment.

So I guess that means either there are a lot more socialists out there in Canada then people think, or more likely, some people just don’t know what they’re talking about when they accuse Dion and the Federal Liberals of being socialists, and the Green Shift as being Marxist orthodoxy, when it’s using the very “market forces” that conservatives and libertarians so often cry is the best way to solve problems. In this case, that rule flies out the window, and the tactics of fear and smear are being used to try to convince the unsuspecting populace that this is just a trojan horse of a plan designed to instill environmental Marxism on us all. Fortunately, I don’t think a good majority of Canadians are going to believe that fear and smear stuff.


Easy to remember lines for the media.

The apparent new scripted replies to the media by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet yes-men is that they’re “working hard” or that “we’re on track” when asked any questions.

One of the more non-event Cabinet shuffles in recent memory. It’s telling how thin the talent is on Harper’s bench from this move. I suspect the Maxime Bernier event that Paul Wells is covering this evening might be more newsworthy.


Progressive Blogger get-together on Sat Sept 13.

I’m only posting this here because not everyone reads the announcements box at Prog Blog’s webpage and because not all affiliates are on Facebook to receive the invitation. After some lengthy discussion and feedback, we have set a date for the 3rd Annual Progressive Bloggers get-together/BBQ for Saturday September 13 starting at 2 pm in Unionville Ontario, at Vijay Sappani’s place, who kindly offered to host the event again this year. When it ends is an open question – I believe it was well into the night last year before everyone left. If the event is like last year, you’ll be well fed and well taken care of by Vijay, […]


Progressive voters like the Green Shift.

What I take out of the first poll taken on the Green Shift since its release by the Liberals other then I’m very encouraged at the reaction to it is this: progressive voters apparently know a good environmental policy when they see one, and will give it credit for being so, despite possibly having differences with it over whether another option like a Cap-And-Trade is more viable or if the current proposed policy is strong enough. These are great initial numbers in response to the announcement of the Green Shift from across the progressive spectrum:

Two-thirds of Liberals, 59 per cent of New Democrats, 62 per cent Parti Quebecois supporters and 48 per cent of Green Party supporters said they were in favour of the policy all, except for the Green Party, by wide margins.

Know what I find amusing? 59% of NDP supporters support the Green Shift despite their leadership and partisan NDP bloggers (like Cam and Horse) telling them the sky will fall in if this is implemented over the NDP’s preferred cap-and-trade setup, yet the smallest approval rating – albeit a plurality still – comes from Green Party self-identified voters, when the Liberals are using their version of a Green Shift, albeit a weaker one then what the Greens would prefer.

So, I’m giving a big shout out to those NDP supporters out there who are supporting this knowing it might not be their preferred method of dealing with the GHG issue, but it’s still a way to deal with it, and they’re willing to support it despite what their partisans and their leadership says about the issue. I don’t however, know what to make of only the small plurality of Greens supporting this; maybe more of them dislike their ideas getting “borrowed” by other political parties then Liz May and the Greens leadership let on.

Oh.. and I also like the fact that 1/3 of self-identified Conservative voters support this plan. No wonder Harper is going around ranting and raving and acting like a spoiled surly child rather then a Prime Minister. He has no credible environmental plan of his own, and he faces a potential wedge issue with his own supporters over this.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer fella. Oh… and Steve.. we’re still waiting for you to accept a “civilized” debate on the Liberals plan… though with your temper, I realize that it might be hard for you.


The Green Shift trademark mountain being made out of a molehill?

So I’ve been reading where some conservative bloggers are claiming that “The Green Shift” website and name that the Liberals have come up is a copyright infringement of the company known as Green Shift at their website, and that an imminent cease and desist order is imminent from this company to the Liberals. However, Jeff over at Where’d That Bug Go called the company, and a representative said they apparently hadn’t gone that route yet. So, we’ll wait and see what happens there.

2 things that make me sceptical that this is going to lead to anything: Note that at the bottom of the Liberals “The Green Shift” website, the […]

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