Alberta Politics
The Pincher Creek wind farm (Photo: Government of Alberta).

Saskatchewan, Ontario have no constitutional case against Ottawa’s carbon tax, only a political strategy

Posted on July 20, 2018, 1:48 am
8 mins

By vowing to go to court to fight the federal government’s carbon tax, Saskatchewan and now Ontario are rejecting the most cost effective way to reduce carbon pollution, the Pembina Institute complained yesterday.

“It is deeply irresponsible of the Saskatchewan and Ontario governments to reject carbon pricing,” said Isabelle Turcotte, interim federal policy director of the Calgary-based energy policy think tank in a news release yesterday.

Pembina Institute interim Policy Director Isabelle Turcotte (Photo: Pembina Institute).

“Canadians expect their governments to address climate change, one of the most serious issues facing us today,” she said. “It is a failure of leadership to reject the most cost effective way to reduce pollution.”

“It is also disappointing to see Ontario and Saskatchewan walk away from the opportunity to design carbon pricing policies that work best for their unique economic realities and walk away from the global trends towards low carbon economies.” She described this as a step backward.

All true, of course, although Ms. Turcotte’s analysis misses some fairly important political points.

For one thing, Canadian Conservative parties have encouraged climate change skepticism and outright climate change denial among key elements of their supporters to achieve short-term political gain, and now they are the captives of the most paranoid and radical parts of their own base.

We have already seen where this leads with the Donald Trump Era Republican Party in the United States. It is neither pretty nor particularly democratic. But it is a significant part of the new political reality of the non-European West, especially in provinces like Saskatchewan and Alberta that depend heavily on resource revenues just to keep the lights on.

Ontario Conservative Premier Doug Ford (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

For another, as is a temptation to political parties of any stripe, it’s easy to put political advantage in the short term ahead of principle and the long term well-being of the commonwealth. So there’s no way Canadian Conservatives are going to eschew any opportunity to sabotage a Liberal program, even if it’s good for the country and good for the planet.

This explains why the conservative Brad Wall-Scott Moe government in Saskatchewan, now joined by the newly elected Doug Ford government in Ontario, are both prepared to pursue a constitutional case in the courts that, as the Pembina institute rightly points out, has no chance of success.

It certainly explains why Mr. Ford’s new unprogressive Progressive Conservative government has jumped on the bandwagon that Mr. Wall got rolling before he resigned as Saskatchewan Party (viz., conservative) premier. Readers will recall that Mr. Wall thereupon decamped for a job in Calgary, where despite stubbornly low international petroleum prices the economy is doing much better than Saskatchewan’s, thanks to the Alberta NDP government’s stalwart refusal to engage in self-destructive austerity.

No chance of success, that is, unless some future Conservative government decided to take a Trump-style dive before the Supreme Court for a political gain that could be used to limit the democratic and policy choices available to Canadians. Getting Liberals out of government in Ottawa is certainly one of the goals of the Saskatchewan-Ontario “legal” strategy, which both governments and their United Conservative Party supporters in Alberta’s Opposition have to know is otherwise a non-starter.

You don’t need to read the Manitoba government’s legal opinion cited by Ms. Turcotte in the Pembina news release to know a constitutional challenge of the federal carbon tax on jurisdictional grounds doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe (Photo: Government of Saskatchewan).

The words of the Canadian Constitution are unequivocal, and they’re right there in black and white in the division of powers outlined in Section 91 of the Constitution Act 1867, formerly known as the British North America Act. Section 91 (3) assigns to Ottawa “the raising of Money by any Mode or System of Taxation.” End of story.

The technical legal term, then, for Ottawa’s right to levy a carbon tax, whether or not you happen to think it’s a politically sound policy, is “slam-dunk.”

For that reason, despite the wisdom of seeking legal advice, one hopes the good people of Manitoba didn’t have to pay too much for the wise counsel PC Premier Brian Pallister referenced yesterday at the premiers’ conference now under way in New Brunswick. Mr. Pallister noted it to explain his government’s lack of enthusiasm for joining Mr. Moe and Mr. Ford in their legally pointless effort.

The outcome, as Ms. Turcotte advised, will be “nothing more than a waste of taxpayers’ money and a delay in action to protect communities and improve the health and livability of these provinces.”

However, seen from a political perspective, the effort may make sense. Every minute they are seen to be challenging the federal carbon tax, no matter how spurious their arguments, Messrs. Moe and Ford can claim to be fighting for their base, and they have a convenient news hook on which they can hang misleading social media memes attacking the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. What’s more, they get to use all taxpayers’ contributions to do it.

Moreover, when they inevitably lose, they can wind up their base by assailing “elites,” “activist judges,” “eco-terrorists,” the United Nations, liberal philanthropist George Soros and other favourite targets of cynical conservative strategists.

And one significant advantage Canadian conservatives enjoy in this effort is the willingness of many right-wing political parties in Canadian provinces to act in concert with their federal ideological counterpart, the Conservative Party of Canada.

Liberals haven’t been able to do anything like this for a long time in Western Canada, where the only successful provincial Liberal Party, in British Columbia, is really a conservative coalition.

Nor can the NDP at the moment, now that a significant rift has opened between New Democrats on the Prairies and the federal party and provincial NDPers in other provinces.

So choosing either a reliable source of funding that benefits the environment while it provides funds for quality public services and economic growth, or the opportunity to sabotage a Liberal government, is really no choice at all for Canadian Conservatives.

20 Comments to: Saskatchewan, Ontario have no constitutional case against Ottawa’s carbon tax, only a political strategy

  1. Farmer Brian

    July 20th, 2018

    David I will certainly agree that Doug Ford and Scott Moe will probably lose their legal challenge on the carbon tax. But they will win to the extent that they will force the Trudeau government to impose a carbon tax of their own on the province’s. Trudeau will do this in January of 2019 in Canada’s most populous province of Ontario in an election year. Regardless of what so called progressives think carbon taxes are not popular with the majority of Canadians!

    Here is some math. At present in Alberta there is a 10 cent provincial tax on gasoline and a 13 cent federal tax on gasoline as well as gst. These are the taxes before the carbon tax is applied. So on a $1.20 litre gas price 28.7 cents is tax. Every $10 per tonne of carbon tax adds 2.245 cents per litre. So 28.7 cents per litre translates to the equivelant of a $127.83 per tonne carbon tax. This existing tax has not slowed down the number of cars on the roads. Gas prices have increased from under a dollar a litre last year to as high as $1.36 a litre this year. Still as many cars on the road.

    The Alberta NDP has projected a balanced budget by 2023-2024. Part of this plan includes in 2021 the $10 per tonne of carbon tax over the present $30 per tonne going into general revenue. In 2022 this will raise to $20 per tonne over the present $30 carbon tax going into general revenue. The federal Liberal’s have mandated a carbon price of $40 tonne in 2021 and $50 tonne in 2022. This shows me that the carbon tax is just about revenue generation nothing to do with the environment. The part that pisses me off the most is the tax on my house heating bill. When it is -30 heat is a necessity it is that simple.

    It appears to me that the Conservatives are maneuvering Trudeau to fight the next election on the carbon tax, a fight I think he will lose. The progressives will call me climate denier but as a farmer I am always striving for efficiency and reducing my use of finite resources per acre. Plus as a farmer my products are sold based on the world price of a given commodity, I can’t just raise my price to recover increased costs. Carbon taxes that I pay that my competitors in other countries do not pay put me at a disadvantage. Enjoy your day

    • Sam Gunsch

      July 21st, 2018

      Carbon pricing – taxes – has twice as many supporters than opponents, according to polling done for Preston Manning’s Eco Fiscal Commission this year.

      So you’re wrong about this, F. B. And Preston Manning thinks you should promote carbon pricing…

      Excerpt: ‘Carbon pricing, despite these challenges, is far from a dead idea, politically. Just under half (46%) say it’s a good idea, compared to 22% who say it’s a poor idea. The 33% who hang in the balance currently say they consider carbon pricing to be an “acceptable idea”.’

    • Sam Gunsch

      July 21st, 2018

      Have you ever tried to debate Preston Manning on the conservative merits of taxing carbon? Preston say’s it’s the best policy. Please share Preston Manning’s or EcoFiscal Commission’s response here if they’ve replied to you.

      Can you explain how your arguments can claim to be principled conservative/market fundamentalist arguments and Preston Manning is therefore wrong?

      You’re comments you keep posting here are at fundamentally at odds with the EcoFiscal Commission’s conservatives economic advice.

      What gives?

      Why do you write comments here arguing with people you think are making progressive arguments for carbon pricing?

      Wouldn’t you get the most leverage from convincing Manning and the EcoFiscal Commission conservatives they are wrong and you’re right?

      Of course you know that I think your arguments are just like Kenney’s. Unprincipled. Not conservative at all. Just grasping for political purchase.

      • Sam Gunsch

        July 23rd, 2018

        your vs. you’re… phooey.

  2. Scotty on Denman

    July 20th, 2018

    Solid polities with a long view make strategy. Parties not so sure where they’re going or if it’s even possible to get there, anyways, rely more on tactics, eventually reducing to day-to-day, ad hoc, make-it-up-as-they-go and seat-of-their-pants reaction to trends and events.

    In the end it’s day by day survival, circle the wagon lagger and keep the base from attritting faster than recruitment can replace. These are the rote tactics of the moribund neo-right usurpers of traditional Tory parties: they have no long view, the milestones of their retrospection simply photoshopped onto real history, their prognoses not merely incapable of discerning trends, but in active denial of the obvious. It’s not about the real world, it’s about basic true belief in contrariness and blinkered loyalty required to keep the pickets awake, muskets at the ready.

    It is pathetic in the truest sense.

  3. Bob Raynard

    July 20th, 2018

    In a recent column (yesterday?), Lorne Gunter took the NDP to task for its determination to continue using the courts to fight for the subsidy it wants to give Alberta craft brewers, and criticizes them for not just accepting the opinion of legal experts, and saving the taxpayers the expense of a court battle. This is a fair comment, but if Gunter is going to criticize governments for throwing tax dollars at court battles that are impossible to win, it is incumbent on him to level the same criticism at conservative governments who do the same thing trying to fight the carbon tax.

  4. Jim

    July 20th, 2018

    If Alberta doesn’t collect the tax Ottawa will and then we don’t have any control over how it is spent, such an easy sell to Albertans. Kenney really painted himself into a corner and it will be interesting to see how he wiggles out of it. That said the NDP’s public sell of the tax has been lacking, privately the conversations are much different I can assure you. Of course they seem to not want to publicly admit that a carbon tax on Albertans really isn’t even a drop in the bucket when it comes to global emissions.

  5. Bob Raynard

    July 20th, 2018

    According to this CBC article:

    The legal advice Manitoba got…

    …said the federal government has the jurisdictional authority to impose a carbon tax, but also suggested that if a province had an alternative plan that would accomplish the same policy goal, it may succeed in arguing Ottawa does not have the right to interfere with its preferred mechanism to reduce carbon emissions.

    While not tested in court, it appears the best grounds to fight the carbon tax is to show some alternate plan to reduce emissions, but what is that plan? The only thing I have heard Jason Kenney say about the issue is he wants to look for some not yet invented technological solution, which hardly counts as an alternative plan.

    Ironically, there do appear to be some technological solutions on the horizon, namely developing electric cars and expanding solar/wind generated power, but they wouldn’t be very satisfactory to Kenney’s base.

    • Bob Raynard

      July 21st, 2018

      Well, that was quick. Rick Bell is back in line in today’s column. I do wonder what sort of back-channel communications took place.

  6. Luke Logan

    July 20th, 2018

    Great article!

  7. Geoffrey Pounder

    July 20th, 2018

    “The technical legal term, then, for Ottawa’s right to levy a carbon tax, whether or not you happen to think it’s a politically sound policy, is ‘slam-dunk.’”

    Which leaves Albertans scratching their heads over Notley’s quid pro quo ultimatum: No (federal) carbon tax without an (emissions-boosting) pipeline.
    Is it not the height of hypocrisy for Notley to lambaste conservative premiers for playing games with carbon taxes when she did the same herself?
    It’s a fundamental error to portray Trudeau and Notley as brave, bold climate leaders facing off against denialist conservatives. There’s enough hypocrisy to go around on both sides of the aisle.
    • w w w [dot] nationalobserver [dot] com/2018/06/18/news/albertas-rachel-notley-expects-have-some-interesting-conversations-ontarios-doug

    Notley and Trudeau are betting that the world will fail to take real action on climate change. That is the only scenario in which oilsands expansion makes sense.
    Notley is hornswoggling the whole nation with her climate BS.

    • Under Notley’s climate plan, AB’s emissions are going UP, not down.
    • Rising oilsands emissions blow Canada’s targets out of the water for decades.
    • Notley’s climate plan sets no targets or timelines.
    • AB’s emissions are grossly under-reported.
    • Building fossil-fuel infrastructure locks us into a fossil-fuel future.
    All clear signals that the AB govt doesn’t take climate change seriously.

    The UN, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the federal Environment Commissioner all issued warnings in 2017 that Canada is NOT on track to meet its targets. Rising (and grossly under-reported) oilsands emissions are the main obstacle.

    Indeed, Trudeau doesn’t need the provinces’ permission to enact a national price on carbon.
    To this day, Trudeau maintains that pipeline approvals were the essential trade-off to get AB on board with Canada’s climate plan.
    Notley threatened to withdraw AB’s support for Trudeau’s climate plan unless the Trans Mtn pipeline was built.
    As Notley now admits, provincial permission isn’t needed for a national carbon tax.

    Notley: “The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion must break ground for Alberta to meet federal climate goals.”
    Notley: “Moving forward with additional hikes with the carbon levy will depend on the Trans Mountain pipeline, as I’ve said many times over the last year and a half.”
    Notley: “We will not move forward on the federal govt’s proposals until we see that construction is fully underway and that approval is given meaning. There is no question that the two were always connected, and they will stay connected.”
    “Government house leader Brian Mason said the carbon tax was always intended as a tool to force the federal government to support building a pipeline to tidewater.”

    “Meeting federal carbon tax price relies on Trans Mountain breaking ground, says Alberta premier”
    • edmontonjournal [dot] com/news/politics/alberta-opposition-to-introduce-bill-on-carbon-tax-referendum

    Using a carbon tax as quid pro quo for pipelines, oilsands expansion, and rising emissions is an obvious policy contradiction — but that didn’t stop Notley from linking them.
    If our “climate leaders” pay lip service to science and play games with carbon taxes, you can hardly expect the laggards to take climate change any more seriously.

    • Geoffrey Pounder

      July 21st, 2018

      AB’s emissions are already far higher than Ontario’s. That gap is only going to widen — no matter what Ford does.
      On the climate front, Notley will do far more damage than Ford could ever hope to do.

      P.S. How about an edit function on comments?

  8. Jerrymacgp

    July 20th, 2018

    Climate change is global problem; every country must do its share. The Government of Canada, should not, indeed cannot, allow recalcitrant sub-national jurisdictions to derail our country’s ability to live up to our international commitments. This is not truly a federal/provincial/territorial fiscal matter, it’s a foreign affairs & treaty matter. Canada must stand firm.

    Conservatives—both small-‘c’ and capital-‘C’—need to publicly and unambiguously declare their position on how Alberta and Canada should respond to climate change. There are a few policy options from which they can choose:
    – they can embrace a market-based solution supported by a broad consensus of economists and other experts, i.e. putting a price on carbon… but wait, that’s what a carbon tax is!
    – they can propose a comprehensive regime of heavy-handed, onerous regulation intended to ratchet down GHG emissions… but wait, conservatives hate regulation!
    – they can argue that since the United States is a laggard on addressing this issue, we should also lag behind the rest of the world along with them. But whereas a few years ago, other big countries like China and India were also climate change laggards, even they are now taking action. Eventually, whether through political change at the ballot box or simple shaming on the global stage, the US will step up. But we can’t afford to wait until then. If every country adopted the “after you, Alphonse” approach to this issue, the world would never take any action at all.
    – finally, they can flatly deny that climate change is a thing at all. Fine, let them, but that’ll permanently relegate them to the opposition benches, with only a narrow fringe of support. Perhaps that’s why they won’t openly state their alternative position to that of the Federal Liberals and the Alberta NDP: they know if they truly admit they’re deniers, they’ll never have a chance.

  9. Sam Gunsch

    July 20th, 2018

    Recent carbon tax modelling from the USA and summarized here:

    ‘The key point, though, is that in every scenario, the macroeconomic effect is small — well under 1 percent of GDP in either direction.’

    The real challenge is that most political analysts agree that political lobbying from the RW political parties in partnership with the fossil fuel industry vested interests will continue to prevent carbon taxes being set high enough on the industry to make sufficient change soon enough to avoid climate catastrophe.

    It’s going to require direct regulation and intervention in the structure of our industrial economy, such as when Harper passed legislation to end all coal generated electricity by 2030 unless it matched the much lower GHGs of natural gas electricity generation, and which the NDP built upon to end all coal plants by 2030.

    The leading Canadian commentator on this issue Mark Jaccard has written a widely praised analysis of carbon tax and regulation politics to achieve climate policy sufficient to avert climate disaster.

    Here: Carbon taxes and caps may be most effective in economic theory, but smart regulation will produce better climate policy for our political reality.

    • Geoffrey Pounder

      July 21st, 2018

      I understand Jaccard’s reservations about carbon pricing, but there can be no real solution to any of our environmental problems without full-cost accounting. A price on pollution is essential. A dollar value on ecosystem services likewise.
      Unless we price goods and services properly, “cheaper” unsustainable options shall prevail. As long as we externalize environmental and health costs, we subsidize our own destruction.
      The speed at which we shift away from fossil fuels and take other steps towards sustainability largely depends on economic signals. An economic system that permits/ignores/rewards damage to our biosphere is insane.

      Climate change is the “greatest market failure in history”.
      The fossil-fuel paradigm is based on the voodoo economics of externalizing costs: downloading environmental and health costs onto the public purse, the environment, and future generations. A massive invisible subsidy.
      Factor the full costs into the price of energy. The flow of capital will shift rapidly.
      How could energy transformation on a societal and global scale take place without pricing energy properly?
      Fail to put the full price on emissions, and the problem will never be solved.

      Yes, industry resists carbon pricing. Industry also resists regulation. It’s not one or the other. We need to do both.
      In Canada, the industry has effectively captured regulatory agencies and govts. Canada is behind the U.S. in limiting refinery pollution because our industry is even more successful at obstructing, watering down, and delaying govt regulations. CAPP successfully lobbied the Trudeau govt to delay regulations on reducing methane emissions.

      David Suzuki on James Hansen, former NASA climate scientist and carbon pricing:

      “One of the world’s best-known climate scientists is discouraged that almost 40 years of study and warnings haven’t convinced humanity to adequately address the climate crisis. But James Hansen understands why we’ve stalled.
      “As long as fossil fuels seem to be the cheapest energy to the public, they’ll keep using them. We’re up against an industry that would prefer to just continue to do things the way that they have been because they’re making a lot of money.” His solution: Ensure the price of fossil fuels factors in the costs to society.
      “How do we ensure the price of fossil fuels includes the costs of pollution, environmental degradation and climate disruption? The simplest way, as Hansen and most scientists, economists and energy experts know, is to put a price on carbon emissions. University of Alberta economist Andrew Leach says, “A carbon price leverages the power of the market to enable emissions reductions at the lowest possible cost.
      “…Pricing carbon, through a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system, has proven to be effective. Sweden implemented a carbon tax in 1991. Even though the price has risen steadily — from about C$37 per tonne of CO2 in 1991 to $170 in 2018 — the country’s carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 26 per cent, without negatively affecting the economy, even as the population grew. In other Scandinavian countries, carbon pricing is seen as a sensible solution that rarely generates debate or news coverage. It works, as at least 46 countries with carbon pricing policies are learning.
      “…Hansen believes a price on carbon might save civilization, giving new meaning to the expression, “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” As more people understand the urgency of confronting climate change and the effectiveness of carbon pricing, they’ll find many reasons to get behind it.

  10. David

    July 20th, 2018

    I think Conservatives have convinced themselves that running against the carbon tax and against refugees will be two winning issues for them in the next Federal election. Yes, these issues play well particularly to their base, but I am not so sure this will work out quite the way they hope.

    First, while no one likes to pay more tax and recent increasing gas prices pinch voters, I think most voters also understand the purpose of a carbon tax is not primarily revenue generation but to reduce fossil fuel use. Therefore, it is easy for the Federal government to challenge say the Ontario PC’s by saying “what is your plan?” In fact they have already said exactly that as it is clear Ontario now has no plan on climate change. Second, Saskatchewan and now Ontario are likely to soon lose in court, which will diminish their credibility. Premier Ford recently tried to get other premiers to jump on his anti carbon tax bandwagon, with no success. Even the Manitoba PC’s who are lukewarm about carbon taxes didn’t bite – they realize this court case will end badly. Yes, Ford will probably rant a bit about elite judges and all that which might again play to the base, but will not make him look competent to mainstream voters. Third, much of the country is actually ok with a carbon tax, although perhaps not enthusiastic. It does not seem to be an issue at all in BC, which has had it for years or Quebec and the Atlantic provinces seem to be mostly wiling to accept it in some form. If the majority of provinces go along, it will be easier for the Federal government to implement it in the hold out provinces.

    Ford won the election in Ontario mostly because voters grew tired of the government that had been in power for a very long time. Yes, high electricity prices were a issue, but far from the only or most important one. The Ontario election was definitely not a referendum on carbon taxes and refugees. It would be a mistake for Conservatives to treat it as that.

  11. Lars

    July 20th, 2018

    “So choosing either a reliable source of funding that benefits the environment while it provides funds for quality public services and economic growth, or the opportunity to sabotage a Liberal government, is really no choice at all for Canadian Conservatives.”

    In other words, they’re morally bankrupt. My, this is a surprise.

  12. Sam Gunsch

    July 20th, 2018

    Now that USA Republicans have just voted again against another carbon tax policy proposal, Kenney is again out on social media slamming our climate plans/taxes for their negative competitive impact on our industry vs. the USA industry.

    If we’re limited to what USA federally is willing to do on climate, then we’re effectively letting USA oil industry dictate our climate policy.

    Industry spending on lobbying released this week:

    ‘Fossil Fuel Industries Outspend Clean Energy Advocates On Climate Lobbying By 10 To 1

    That’s one reason why climate bills fail even though most Americans think global warming is happening.’

    excerpt: ‘majority of Americans understand global warming and support government action to deal with it, industry lobbying still has far greater influence in Washington.’

  13. Bruce

    July 21st, 2018

    The true issue with the well-intended carbon tax is that it applies to goods produced here and not goods imported from elsewhere. Canadian goods are suddenly less competetive, and we shift this production to non-environmentally concious producers and ship goods further using more carbon to do it. If you are going to have a sustainable carbon tax, there needs to be a price put on the carbon in all goods to maintain a playing field for everyone, and not export jobs over seas. As it sits today the tax only shifts the CO2 production and the production of goods elsewhere.

  14. July 21st, 2018

    Beware of False Green Prophet$

    Canada needs honest viable energy and environmental policies based on science and economics, not on political rhetoric, nonscience or nonsense.

    Prime Minister Trudeau’s proposed carbon tax is a clear example of this because of the delay in keeping his December 9, 2016, promise to create a matching national clean fuel standard “based on life cycle analysis” billed as “the single biggest element of Canada’s national emissions reduction plan”.

    There are at least seven major types of pollution caused in the life cycle of the production and utilization of energy: abiotic depletion; acidification; eutrophication; global warming; human toxicity; ozone layer depletion; and terrestrial ecotoxicity.

    The Trudeau Liberal government’s proposed carbon tax applies to fossil fuels like coal, oil and bitumen, but exempts other forms of energy including natural gas used for power generation, which is worse over the 20 to 50 year time frame, and likely will so-called renewable fuels such as bio-fuels including those made from food crops, and biomass such as wood.

    The results of the recent Ontario Election reflect upon the failure of the Government of Canada to disclose the real cost of the carbon tax, how it will be used appropriately and in the public interest, the true life cycle production and utilization of all forms of energy, or the facts regarding the real economic benefits of their energy and environmental policies.

    The practice of letting politicians and civil servants make and implement policies that create winners false green prophet$ for their chosen technologies and multibillion-dollar losers out of the rest of us has been proven wrong in every instance, as was confirmed by Ontario’s last two Auditors General.

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) both now officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, and rather than combating the effects of global warming, they could make them worse.

    With one child under 10 dying from hunger and related diseases every five seconds now according to the UN, using food for fuel is actually a crime against humanity.

    This applies to other so-called renewable energy sources like wood biomass, shown as not being “carbon neutral” at all, because the immediate harm from releasing the carbon in it and the fifty years or more needed to grow the trees to replace it actually makes it worse.

    Taxpayer subsidies, mandatory use laws and exemptions from carbon and life cycle taxes further increase the negative impacts of these pseudoscience based policies.

    That’s why the user-pay life cycle clean fuel policy should have been fully formulated and implemented before any other steps were taken.

    We need to find ways as a country to economically and sustainably develop and utilize our vast fossil fuel and renewable energy resources to our advantage, instead of exporting them for the benefit of others at huge discounts while unnecessarily increasing life cycle environmental impacts.

    According to Bill Gates, whose multibillion-dollar Breakthrough Energy Coalition now targets carbon-free ammonia energy, we should end all energy subsidies and spend our resources developing new and better technologies for all fossil and renewable energy production and use.

    Gates’ most read and recommended author, University of Winnipeg’s Dr. Vaclav Smil’s June 3, 2018, IEEE Spectrum article, “A Critical Look at Claims for Green Technologies”, is subtitled “Green technologies are not yet proved, affordable, or deployable—but even if they were, it would still take them generations to solve our environmental problems.”

    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley should join Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Ontario Premier Doug Ford in their proposed legal challenge to Trudeau’s unjustified carbon tax grab scheme using plans to implement realistic life cycle energy and environmental tax policies.

    We need a level playing field for energy, and everything else for that matter, so consumers and industry can vote with their wallets in a true user-pay economy that doesn’t pass off the real costs to anyone else.


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