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Conflicting signals and shooting at the wrong target.

Since Blogging a Dead Horse was crowing this morning about how Ipsos-Reid shows somehow that Canadians are sceptical about the Green Shift (a notion that Red Tory by the way refutes rather convincingly over at his blog), I thought it only appropriate to mention the Harris-Decima poll talked about in the Star which shows that Canadians want aggressive action on climate change by a wide margin (and no Mr. Harper, being aggressive doesn’t mean agreeing to non-binding targets).

I’d add that I find that its regrettable that the NDP and its partisans continue to charge at the Liberals Green Shift plan rather then go at the Conservatives, who absolutely have no plan at all to combat climate change. Yet, the NDP supporters attack the Green Shift just as hard the Conservatives do in trying to discredit it.

Apparently, the desire to gain seats at the expense of the Liberals left flank is more important to Jack Laytom and the NDP’s partisans rather then pointing out that all other parties,  despite taking different approaches, have concrete plans and committment to combat climate change, while the Cons. don’t.

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 […]

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. It’s 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 people’s behaviour, that incentives matter, that “if you tax something, you get less of it.” But now, suddenly, they don’t 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, they’re 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.

Dion tells Harper to grow up and act mature.

I love the response of Dion to Harper claiming Canadians would get “screwed” by the Liberals plan:

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has scolded Stephen Harper over his criticism of the Liberals’ so-called green shift, challenging the prime minister Saturday to an “adult” debate on the issue…”I call on the prime minister to debate with me any time on TV on this issue in a respectful, meaningful and adult way,” an angry Dion said on Toronto’s Centre Island…”It was vulgar and I don’t think Canadians are impressed by that,” Dion said of Harper’s comments Friday. “They want the prime minister to act as a prime minister.”

A perfect frame of […]

No class.

Not only is he one of the most partisan prime ministers in our history, but he’s also one of the most classless:

The prime minister had some uncharacteristically blunt words Friday for a carbon tax proposal by Stephane Dion’s Liberals, saying it would “screw” the country… “(The carbon tax plan) is like the national energy program in the sense that the national energy program was designed to screw the West and really damage the energy sector – and this will do those things,” Harper told a small crowd in Saskatoon. “This is different in that this will actually screw everybody across the country.”

Harper has demeaned the House of Commons […]

Grudging praise.

I’ve often said before in response to other Liberal bloggers attacking Chantal Hebert for dumping on Dion in whatever column she’s written that it’s not news. It’s about as unique as seeing the sun rise in the east every morning.

For me, it would be notable if she actually praised him in one of her columns or give him credit over something. Today is such a day in her column where she critiques the Liberal leader as well as the Green Shift, and gives the strategy and the leader of the Liberals some credit. She calls the plan “gutsy”, and thought Dion gave “his best public performance to date […]

Your Conservative response to the Green Shift…

…basically more or less boils down to Harper making the claim that Dion is lying to Canadians about the details of this plan. Of all the things one can say about Dion, even his opponents have said he was a man of integrity. To pull this line of attack out as a means of trying to discredit the Green Shift is simply in my view a dead-ender for the Cons., but I invite them to try and keep using that attack line if they wish, because all it does is expose the fact that the Conservatives simply have no credible plan of their own to counter with, so they’re reduced to smears and “the sky will fall!” fear-mongering, using an oil-spill as their mascot. I don’t think Canadians will buy it.

As you might guess, plenty of comment on the progressive/Liberal blogosphere today about the Green Shift, as well as the media. Too many to list here, but I was interested in reading this blogpiece by Graheme over at his blog, because while he’s a progressive blogger, he isn’t a Liberal supporter, and he’s pretty non-partisan. He gives the Green Shift a fair assessment and believes overall despite the fact he has some reservations, its a good plan.

To make up your own mind, go to The Greenshift.ca website. You should also read the policy explanation here

As it says over at the website, The time has come to do what is right – not what is easy – for our environment and for our future.

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