Trudeau Set To Impose Carbon Taxes….Just say NO!

LORNE GUNTER - Trudeau's carbon tax will hurt Canada's economy


Credits: REUTERS/Todd Korol



“Carbon pricing” is simply a euphemism for “carbon tax.”

When a politician talks about establishing a price on carbon in the name of stopping global warming (as federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau frequently does), what he really means is he wants to tax oil production, manufacturing and private vehicle use in the hope that by punishing energy companies, manufacturers and drivers he can force them to reduce their emissions.

However, no market exists for carbon emissions except where governments force companies to buy or sell “carbon credits.” Therefore, there is no such thing as a natural “carbon price.” The concept is entirely artificial.

Admittedly, Europe has a carbon exchange, but it’s not a real marketplace like a stock exchange. It wouldn’t exist if the EU’s commissioners hadn’t dictated that companies put a price on their emissions and pay extra for emissions above their mandated limits.

Even after all of that, the price for a tonne of carbon on the European exchange is a fraction of what EU planners projected it would be. The only people who make money consistently are clever profiteers who have learned how to apply for “green” subsidies. And the whole thing is prone to corruption.

That is what Justin Trudeau wants for Canada.

But Trudeau’s idea gets worse. He wants Canada to be a role model for the world by adopting a price on carbon even if our major competitors don’t do the same.

The Americans don’t have a price on carbon. Nor do the Chinese, or the Australians or the Russians.

On energy and mineral exports, the Europeans aren’t really our competitors. So the fact they have a fake price on their carbon doesn’t really matter.

Trudeau’s thinking on most issues is strained when it gets past Twitter’s limit of 140 characters. But it seems especially shallow on this matter.

Why in heaven’s name would Trudeau the Younger want to add any burdens to Canada’s sluggish economy, especially a burden that would stutter the economy’s one strong sector – oil production?

Part of the answer is that Trudeau is a post-industrial urbanite. Like so many modern city dwellers, the former substitute drama teacher doesn’t have a clue about how jobs are created or money is made.

Because no one in his social circle has to soil his or her hands to make a living – no one he knows has to mine the earth or harvest crops or cut timber – Trudeau imagines an economy where everyone is a computer programmer, retirement planner, social worker, barista, CBC journalist or advocate for the homeless.

He is driven by unreal thinking about the environment and ignorance about economics.

There is a regional element to Trudeau’s admission last week at the Calgary Stampede that he would tax carbon even if no other countries do. In a candid moment, Trudeau admitted he especially had problems with “certain industries,” which everyone assumed meant oilsands.

But while carbon taxing – especially taxes that single out the oilsands – would punish Alberta and the west more than the rest of the country (an old Trudeau family habit), what Young Master Trudeau is proposing would hurt the whole country.

A Canada-only tax on carbon would make it more expensive to do business in Canada. Jobs, investments and new plants would move elsewhere.

The national effects would be similar to the outcome of Ontario’s push for green-energy alternatives since 2009.

More than $10 billion in subsidies for wind, solar and bio fuel alternatives have led to no new electricity in Ontario, but have driven electricity prices up 40% or more and contributed to jobs leaving the province.

Heaven help us if Trudeau gets to spread that destruction nationwide.