Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Carbon Tax Doublespeak

Contradictory statements by B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion don't add up according to Michael Smyth of The Province.

"Mr. Dion actually called me and said there would not be a double taxation, that he does not want to impose something that will not work on British Columbians," Campbell said on July 6.

Wait a minute: A federal carbon tax "will not work on British Columbians" but a provincial one will? Now I'm really confused!

But the confusion hit a new level on the weekend when Dion was asked the same question: Would there be special accommodation for British Columbia, which already has a provincial carbon tax?

Dion's answer: "No, we didn't speak about side deals."

So which is it: Would British Columbians get whacked twice or not? As both of these Liberals try to refine their political spin, voters are left to wonder.

What is clear, however, is the politicians want to have it both ways: They all want to take credit for saving the planet while trying to convince you that paying a carbon tax really isn't going to hurt you or the economy or impact your life.

Consider this amazing quote from Liberal MP Ralph Goodale, trying to reassure the oil-and-gas industry in his home province of Saskatchewan: "A significant portion of our oil-and-gas production in this province will end up being exempt from a carbon tax because it is largely put into a pipeline and exported right out of the country."

In other words: Who cares if our fossil fuels are burned in the United States and contribute to global warming? The important thing is that we feel good about ourselves while we carry on with business.

It's the same hypocrisy from Campbell, who whacks us with gas taxes because the future of the planet is at stake while subsidizing the oil patch and lobbying to lift federal bans on offshore drilling and tanker traffic.

Make no mistake: It's not about the planet. It's all about politics.

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