If Ontario’s carbon pricing scheme is such a great idea, why aren’t Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne, and the NDP’s Andrea Horwath, who supports it, praising it to the skies on the campaign trail?
Thanks to a new Ipsos-Global TV poll, now we know why.
It found 72% of 1,197 eligible voters surveyed from May 4-7 think carbon taxes are just a tax grab, with 68% saying they’re symbolic rather than effective.
This skeptical, and accurate, view of Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme — given that cap and trade is just another form of a carbon tax, which raises the prices of goods and services instead of the taxes on them — cuts across party lines.
While 85% of Conservative voters think carbon taxes are just a tax grab, so do 72% of NDP voters and 54% of Liberal voters.
As Ipsos Global Affairs CEO Darrell Bricker said of the poll’s findings, the more Wynne and Horwath speak about cap-and-trade, the more it helps PC leader Doug Ford, who has vowed to scrap it, “because what it really does is ricochet back on the Conservative voters and give them more passion about supporting a change in government.”
What it also means is that Wynne’s strategy of trying to sneak carbon pricing past Ontarians has blown up in the Liberals’ faces.
Wynne downplayed any suggestion the Liberals were considering putting a price on carbon in the 2014 election.
Shortly after she won a majority government, she said a carbon tax was “not in our plan.”
Then she introduced cap-and-trade, a carbon tax by another name, now costing Ontario taxpayers $1.98 billion annually.
The Liberals say the cost of cap-and-trade to the average Ontario household will be $285 next year.
But when you divide the $1.98 billion the Liberals plan to make from cap-and-trade this year by Ontario’s 5,169,175 Ontario households, according to the latest census, the average cost per household comes to $383 this year, not $285 next year.
As for its effectiveness in lowering industrial carbon dioxide emissions linked to climate change, here’s what Ontario auditor general Bonnie Lysyk said about Wynne’s plan in her 2016 annual report:
“Small reductions in emissions in Ontario (are) expected to come at significant cost to Ontario businesses and households … Ontario businesses are expected to pay up to $466 million by 2020 to Quebec and California for (carbon) allowances. Based on preliminary estimates … that amount could rise to $2.2 billion in 2030 — all of it money that will leave the Ontario economy.”
While Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme, which Horwath supports, is a train wreck, I should point out I disagree with Ford’s vow to scrap it without putting anything in its place, because in that case, the Trudeau government will impose a carbon price on Ontarians and control where the money goes.
(Ford says he will fight this at the Supreme Court, if necessary.)
I preferred former PC leader Patrick Brown’s promise to replace cap-and-trade with a revenue-neutral carbon tax, in which all the money raised would have been returned to the public in tax cuts, verified by the auditor general.
Ontario Green party Leader Mike Schreiner supports a similar carbon-pricing mechanism called revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend, which is also intended to lower greenhouse gas emissions, not raise government revenues.
Either would be preferable to Wynne’s cap-and-trade scheme, supported by Horwath, which has been a disaster.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies