Letter: Tax the emitters, not the consumers


It appears the federal government doesn’t like to be deprived of the proceeds from its carbon tax levy.

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The new United Conservative Party of Alberta re-wrote the previous NDP government’s carbon tax that applied to both consumers and emitters.

The new tax cancelled the consumer segment at the expense of that now imposed on the province business emitters.

Deprived of all that carbon tax collected at the gas pumps, or from home heating, Ottawa is musing about imposing a $50 per tonne levy on Alberta consumers.

Environment Minister McKenna has another concern, in that Alberta has not stated it would follow federal pricing when it rises past the current emitter level of taxation.

The irony is that in testimony made for the government at court hearings in Saskatchewan, the federal argument was that a carbon tax was needed to fight human-caused global warming and to meet Canada’s commitment to the Paris Accord.

Unfortunately, it is being said that the Canadian carbon tax would have to increase to $250 per tonne to meet that commitment, unless Canada’s largest emitters are forced to curb their emission levels.

In a classic case of misdirection,

the federal government has restructured the environmental assessment priorities for a list of industries.

Many of them produce GHGs at levels that are the same or higher than many mining, power generation and fossil-fuel operations that are not subject to the hard cap of GHG emissions.

These include chemical, aluminum, fertilizer, agricultural operations, waste-treatment and disposal facilities.

Not only is Bill C-69 approval procedurally unfair, it reinforces the view that the fight over GHG is restricted to western oil and gas.

Next to vehicle emissions, the oil and gas sector has been labelled the largest group of emitters in Canada.

However, until the oil and gas sector has been forced to become more environmentally responsible in reducing its carbon footprint, it should be subject to a levy that is proportionate to its greenhouse gas emissions.

Instead, the federal Liberals continue to subsidize Canada’s oil and gas industry to the tune of $1.6 billion annually.

Instead of passing legislation that allows LNG processors a minimal carbon tax rate, and having their GHG emissions be subsidized by increasing the rates charged for carbon products, such as fuel or home heating, British Columbia should follow Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s policy and tax the emitters, not the consumers.

Abe Bourdon

© Kamloops This Week


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