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Conservatives own secret study supports a carbon tax.

This was first brought to my attention on Friday by a Green Blogger pointing out that the Green Party had used the Access to Information Act to reveal a secret Conservative government study that shows the economic costs of a carbon tax in Canada starting at 50$/ton are not only negligible to the economy in the first few years, but show a net positive for a carbon tax in raising Canada’s gross domestic product:

The report supports a carbon tax as an effective way to make significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and concludes that a $50/tonne tax on carbon would have an insignificant impact on the Canadian economy and would open tremendous economic opportunities. The model estimates this carbon tax shift would cut emissions by about 36 megatonnes (MT) by 2010, 59 MT by 2015 and 114 MT by 2030.. The report Cost Curves for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction in Canada: The Kyoto Period and Beyond concludes that the GDP impact of a $50/tonne tax shift is less than 0.1% of GDP per year until 2010, is virtually zero during the next five years and is then positive after 2015. Further, the report projects net financial savings to those who take action as a result of the tax shift, after taking into account the investment in emissions reductions. At $50 per tonne, that windfall comes to $13.8 billion by 2010 and climbs from there.

You can understand why Harper and the Cons would hide this report, and why it would take a Freedom Of Information Act request to reveal it. This story has gotten many, many bloggers discussing the secret report and the Conservatives hypocrisy in not releasing it.

It has even got Senator Elaine Mccoy, the independent Progressive Conservative Senator from Alberta, writing today about the deceit of the Conservative government in hiding this report from Canadians. She also calls this government report on the carbon tax “very credible”.

If I were a media person, I might ask Harper or Environment Minister John Baird (if they can find him – he seems to have disappeared since the election call) their reaction to this report. Obviously, they didn’t like the conclusions if they decided to try and hide it. I might also remind them that Baird and Jason Kenney are on record as refusing to release the details (about the cost to consumers) of their so-called environmental plan until after the election. I might be asking if that’s really acceptable to be hiding such crucial details from the public during an election campaign. If the Conservatives are going to fear-monger over the Green Shift, when their own government report says a carbon tax higher then what the Liberals are currently proposing isn’t going to hurt the economy and indeed will eventually raise Canada’s GDP, they need to be called out on it. Furthermore, the simple questions to ask them are:

Where are your environmental plan’s details?
What are your plan’s proposed costs?
Why are you trying to hide them or not release them until after the election?

Canadians and the media at large should demand that the Conservatives put out the details of their environmental plan of what types of costs to consumers will be incurred by them under the Conservative plan to cut emissions of GHG. It is only fair, so we can compare the plans and allow Canadians to make a choice based on facts and statistics, rather then letting the Conservatives continue to fear-monger by saying stuff like Harper claiming the Green Shift will harm national unity, or even more ridiculous stuff like Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant claiming that the Liberals under the Green Shift would ban or tax firewood.

Demand the details.

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