All parties are promising to “put a price on pollution” if they are elected. Whether they call it a carbon tax or cap-and-trade or something else, the result is the same: it raises the price of heating fuel and gasoline and increases the cost of living.
These schemes are designed to do two things: reduce CO2 emissions now to meet the Paris Agreement targets that all parties support, and raise revenue to invest in "green technologies" so we can reduce emissions in the future.
These taxes raise the cost of energy, such as heating fuel and fuel that powers machinery. That means higher costs for you to heat your home, and it means higher costs for Canadian industry. Well, Canadian industry doesn't have to worry, because revenue from the carbon tax will go to these industries so they can remain competitive in the global market. More corporate welfare from both the Conservatives and the Liberals.
What about you, though? The cost of your heating fuel goes up because of the carbon tax, and this is where current emissions reductions happen. Now you have to make the choice of heating and eating. Do you turn the heat down to 18C, or do you stay warm and buy cheaper, less nutritious food or eat less? Of course, the wealthy don't have to make this decision, they will keep flying their private jets and heating/air-conditioning their French villas when they aren't there just in case they decide to show up some day. Trudeau's second jet puts out more CO2 in one hour than most of us do in one year. I'm not concerned about the super wealthy, I`m concerned about you, especially seniors and low income families in this riding who are the most vulnerable and have to make this decision.
Q: But low income people will get a rebate from the carbon tax, so they will be just as well off, right?
A: Yes, they get a rebate, and yes, they will be just as well off in terms of Money. But there is a reason they get the rebate at the end of the year: it is because when they make the decision about what temperature to keep the heat at, they are making the decision when looking at their current bank account, not what their bank account will be in the summer. This is a basic economic principle, and the politicians and economists know exactly what they are doing. If this were not the case, they would replace the carbon tax with an income or wealth tax and make the rich alone pay.
The rich pay the carbon tax but don't have to turn the heat down. People with lower incomes have to turn the heat down, but they don't pay the tax with money - they pay it with emissions reductions. Nobody is denying this. And what happens when seniors are forced to turn the heat down during a winter cold snap? This is a potentially deadly result. In terms that the parties can understand (i.e. Money), health care costs go up. Last year in the UK, 16,000 people died because of “fuel poverty” with respect to heating their homes. When low income families have to make these decisions, can that be good for the children? Living with food and heat insecurity as children will almost certainly affect them in later life. The schemes that every party proposes is based solely on Money and emissions reductions by those least well off. They all ignore the social implications on families and communities. We are paying with our lives so the rich can fly their private jets to climate conferences to lecture us about "climate responsibility."
I would therefore like to make a Modest Climate Proposal. If it is fair that we pay with emissions reductions so the rich don't have to, then wouldn't it also be just as fair if we turned that around so that the rich reduce their emissions so that we don't have to reduce ours. Goose and gander, right? After all, the rich are the biggest emitters. If the rich kept their heat at 18C like they are expecting us to do, and they stopped not only using their private jets, but stopped taking vacations at all, and they stopped eating expensive meals, then I believe that alone would allow Canada to exceed our emissions targets. Let them keep their precious Money. All they have to do is live the same carbon footprint that people in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke are living as a matter of course. After all, it’s not about Money, it’s about saving the environment during a “climate emergency,” right?
All the parties talk about putting a "price on pollution" and fixing everything with Money. For them, all of life can be measured in Money. Money, Money, Money. The least well off financially should not be punished because we are not single-mindedly focused on Money. In fact, I would argue just the opposite. Money is fine, but family, community, happiness and the quality of life are much more important, and those of us who value these things over Money should be rewarded, not punished.