Act first – debate later

The B.C. carbon tax takes effect on July first. B.C. residents aren’t impressed with this birthday present on Canada’s birthday. They want to debate the tax. The premier has shifted to moral persuasion by mentioning his upcoming grandfather status and the need to care for coming generations.

The cheques to offset the tax have arrived by mail and already the law of unintended consequences has kicked in. It seems like the people are not following the advice that came with the money. An unconvinced public are devising their own use for the money. Examples to date include: gifting the money to the opposition NDP, loading up the SUV with gas for a vacation to Alberta, buying a barbecue, and a purchasing a flight to San Francisco. And that is without looking for examples.

Since the public is anxious to debate the tax the statement below would be a good place to begin:

Foreign experience with carbon taxes as economic policy is far from the unequivocal success Mr. Dion talks about. He seemed unaware of the record of job losses and uneven economic performance recorded in Europe in the wake of various environmental taxes and energy price moves. Within specific countries, including Sweden, which the Green Shift plan cites as a model, the role of green taxes is a mixed bag. Alleged boosts to new investment do not take place. And, most telling, the impact on carbon emissions has been limited.

The best and most sobering look at Europe’s green tax experiments is a paper by the Centre for European Policy Studies titled The Political Economy of Environmental Taxation in European Countries. After more than a decade of rampant green taxation and regulation, a sort of lab test for every policy fantasy known to economists and politicians, Europe essentially ended up proving the policies really didn’t work.


More debating points can be found here, here, here, and here.

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2 Responses to Act first – debate later

  1. Ted says:

    We bought a new barbeque and replaced an old propane tank with my cheques. Thanks Gord!. The old was worse for wear.
    Oh yes, two new energy efficient light bulbs so I could see better at night, not to ease my conscience.
    Maybe the best energy saving tip would be to have a big switch in Victoria that would turn off all the televisions at 9:30 pm every night (except when Hockey Night in Canada is the CBC, less there be riots).
    This advanced technology green policy would result is a larger school population that may in 2040 be able to pay these silly extra taxes in communities where there will still be no reasonable rapid transit according to Translink. Maybe to make doubly sure in the Fraser Valley, the televisions should be turned off at 9 to encourage more densification.

  2. D says:

    I took my wife on a nice long scenic drive in our gas-guzzling SUV.  I call that \’carbon dating\’ now that I\’m using my $100 cheque to pay for the gas.  Thanks Gord!
    Too bad the chance is gone–the gov\’t could have taxed computers in advance of Y2K.  They could tax any number of real or imagined problems forcast to strike in the future.  How about a Turkey Lurkey Tax to pay for infrastructure to keep the sky from falling.  Revenue nuetral of course.  But they should make sure to tax something that we buy frequently so that we can be reminded of it again and again. 

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