A Political interlude… Don’t Axe the Carbon Tax

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This promise by Carole James and the BC NDP to axe the “Gas Tax” as they call it is regressive and just plain dangerous for our environment. Not only that, it shows a complete lack of principles. I hope that my readers here will support me in telling Carole James to reverse her policy.

I’ve decided to create a Facebook Group to try to gather people, of all political stripes, but particularly those who feel they are less likely to vote NDP now because of the Axe the Carbon Tax campaign.

Click here to go to the Group.

I hope that for those of you who read my last post about “Axing the Tobacco Tax”, you realised that I was being wholly sarcastic and silly. My point was that like when Louis St. Laurent introduced the first Tobacco tax in 1950, there is a lot of opposition to the Carbon Tax from those who do not want to change their ways.

Lets face it. We are addicted to the lifestyle that fossil fuels have provided for us. I am too. It is no secret that when combined with education, taxes help to change peoples behaviour. It has worked with smoking. It will work with Carbon. Like him or lump him, Gordon Campbell has done the right thing by imposing his Carbon Tax on British Columbian consumers, businesses and industry. No, the policy is not perfect by any stretch, but it is a start, and a strong statement to the rest of North America especially that BC is taking Climate Change seriously no matter the short term political cost.

Carole James needs to recognize that the Carbon Tax is the *right* policy. She must concede that, and then show how she would improve it. I believe she has alienated a large amount of people with this policy… there is no doubt she has alienated many environmental groups.

So please, join the Facebook Group.

Tell your friends and family and pass along the link. There is still time for Carole James to say her Mea Culpa and change her policy.

4 Replies to “A Political interlude… Don’t Axe the Carbon Tax”

  1. I’m sorry Chris, but I must respectfully disagree. I believe this tax has little chance at actually reducing emissions, and is therefore little more than a symbolic sin tax. It is ostensibly aimed at motorists to influence their “choices”, but many of us in more rural communities actually have no choice. I am a commercial truck driver and I use a given amount of fuel each day with no options to reduce consumption. I have already taken all measures possible simply to reduce costs as fuel prices rise, and the “carbon tax” simply adds to the cost of staying in business. There must be a better option that provides for real reductions in a way that doesn’t impose the burden unfairly on any one population sector. This tax is a loser in rural BC because most of us have few options.

  2. You’re right that at this point the policy is completely ineffectual. But in my opinion, that’s not the fault of the tax, that’s the fault of the government imposing it and the policy surrounding it. Pricing carbon is a necessary step if we as a society ever plan on valueing the damage we are doing to ourselves and our planet by relying on fossil fuels.

    As Dr. Andrew Weaver said in his column in the Times Colonist.

    http://www.timescolonist.com/Technology/Andrew+Weaver+environmental+plan+just+gimmick/1501963/story.html

    “The NDP make demonstrably false assertions that rural people are unfairly penalized (when in fact people in rural communities typically drive less and have smaller homes); they argue that consumers pay the brunt of the cost (when it’s industry who pays the lion’s share and individuals reap the benefits from concomitant income tax reductions).”

    For businesses like yours (you deliver out to the West Coast yes?) that operate because you are the only link for people, then there must be rebates and incentives to increase efficiency.

    There are so many ways to improve the policy and make it better… the NDP has instead chosen to oppose simply as a political opportunity.

  3. Well yeah, the NDP is politically opportunist. But the Liberals aren’t? This tax is aimed straight at obtaining votes from urban environmentalists who are already soft on the NDP, possibly Greens, and whose vote may be enough to sway power for the Socreds, er, Liberals. Even if it’s true, as Weaver says, that rural people typically drive less and have smaller homes, the point is that on the amount they do pay they (we) have fewer options to change our behavior as this tax is supposed to encourage us to do. Also, for lower income people whose fuel costs represent a larger percentage of their overall income, the tax presents an unequal burden. I would be in support of it if it was aimed at those who can most afford to make changes – the urban commuter who has transportation options. Bottom line is, a vote against the NDP over this issue assures another four years of the Socreds, er, Liberals whose main agenda is resource exploitation and privatization of public services, not environmentalism.

  4. Your absolute right. There are so many other issues that should compel people to vote NDP. I’m focusing on this issue only because I think they have gotten it so very wrong… but in the end, I will likely vote for the NDP anyway.

    If they do hopefully win and then go through with their promise, I’ll be at the forefront of the movement to reverse their reversal… and inact a Carbon Tax that is fair but that des the job it must do to start limiting our emissions and put a price on the damage we are doing.

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