Six words on taxes and pollution by Stephane Dion

Posted on: September 14, 2008

Okay, I saw it. A week into the general election campaign, finally I see Stephane Dion on television (on CBC News Sunday hosted by Evan Solomon and Carole McNeil) explain his Green Shift tax plan. He used six words. “Cut income taxes, shift to pollution”. Okay, I get it. Why did it take a week into this election before I saw something on it?

Here’s a You Tube clip of Dion on the plan, addressing the Canadian Club of Toronto. This is from May 15, 2008. Here he proposes “lowering taxes on things we want more of, income, innovation, savings and investment.” At the same time, he proposes “shifting” the tax burden “on the things we want less of, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, smog and waste.”

Before this, I have heard a number of discussions on this plan without hearing a word from Dion about it. I did not understand the details of this plan. It sounded complex and I tuned it out.

Tonight I was determined to understand it. I found this link to the Liberal party website for information.

Okay. My red neck is showing. Here is my first impression of the page-you can click on thumbnail photos on the left of the page to listen to recorded video opinions on the Green Shift plan. At the top of the list is a photo of a guy named Rob Baker (never heard of him) from the Tragically Hip (heard of them). Give me a break. I mean, what the hell do you expect a long-haired hippie musician ( I was an amateur one almost 40 years ago) say about a plan that taxes polluters? A word from him is supposed to help convince me?

As I read it, there is an $850 tax credit that will be targeted to lower income Canadians. But if I’m not a “lower income” Canadian, what’s in it for me? (Environmentalists would say at this point- It’s the Planet, Stupid.)

I read more taxes so far. Gas today is $1.34 per litre for regular. A tax on top of that?

Of course David Suzuki, Canada’s most notable environmentalist, would have some comment on a carbon tax. This CTV interview with Suzuki, added below, was made a week before Dion’s address, shown above. This interview also sounds like it was made before the Green Shift details came out. It’s general to the idea of a carbon tax, not detail specific to what became known as the Green Shift. Here we see a frustrated Suzuki being interviewed, saying the Swedes are paying a carbon tax of $150 a tonne, and British Columbians howl at at $10 per tonne carbon tax. (Dion’s plan is a $10 per tonne carbon tax to be eventually increased to $40.) Put on You Tube May 23, this interview with Suzuki was also conducted long before this election was called. He is however, well aware, even at this time, that federal politicians are readying for one.


3 Responses to "Six words on taxes and pollution by Stephane Dion"

Great Blog post. I am going to bookmark and read more often. I love the Blog template … if you need any assistance customizing it let me know!

I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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