Trade associations -- Many are known to donate generously to political parties, particularly when they want to curry favour. In the U.S. it's called "dark money," a way to spend big bucks on politics and remain relatively anonymous. It doesn't have the same bad rap in B.C. yet, but it's problematic.
The meeting is a key opportunity for international leaders to reach agreement on next steps: an agreement that should be ambitious, pushing us further along the path of emissions reductions; an agreement that is legally binding; and one which is supported by regular defined reviews to help tie us to our commitments.
Ontario has dug itself into a deep financial hole. The responsible thing to do is curb government spending to balance the books. But some analysts are suggesting that Ontario should raise taxes. McGill University's Dr. Christopher Ragan has even called for a carbon tax. This is a terrible idea. The last thing cash-strapped Ontario families can bear right now is a tax on everything.
Despite industry claims to the contrary, British Columbia's carbon tax has not hurt the province's agricultural sector, a new Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions study concludes. Further, the study suggests that the more than $25 million worth of competitive "relief" that the provincial government has granted the industry in recent years may not have been necessary.
More and more, it's appearing the provincial New Democrats simply possess no real base beyond the narrow confines of what we might call "NDP World" -- militant union bosses, anti-everything eco-extremists, dogmatic staffers of the inner-city charity-industrial complex and out-of-touch professors in fringe faculties.
The province's legislated climate plan is to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions 33 per cent below 2007 levels by 2020 may be jeopardized by the booming natural gas industry. About half of B.C. gas is obtained by fracking and the province's gas exports to Alberta and the U.S. may make its CO2 targets an impossibility.
British Columbia is officially in election mode and the parties are rolling out their campaign promises. When it comes to the tax promises of the two mainstream parties, British Columbians are confronted with a choice, as it were, between higher taxes or even higher taxes. So go ahead and pick your poison.
Plenty of Vancouver's latte-sipping, seawall-jogging condo dwellers support the carbon tax. But so does everyone else in British Columbia keen to secure a better future for his or her community. Not that you'd know that after listening to Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation who suggests that rural British Columbians universally loathe the province's world-leading climate policy. Bateman also rehashes the myth that carbon pricing unfairly punishes interior and northern residents, because they tend to use more energy. He is mistaken on both counts.
They say dead men tell no lies. That may never be truer than in the cutthroat blood-sport of B.C. politics. Consider Martyn Brown, the former chief of staff for Gordon Campbell and chief architect of the B.C. Liberals' decade in power. He's no longer in politics and suddenly feels very free to tell the truth about the B.C. government.
The B.C. government's Pacific Carbon Trust has become frighteningly adept at taking taxpayers' money--$14 million last year--and transferring it to big businesses. It's time for the provincial government to scrap the Trust, and end corporate welfare disguised as environmentalism. The numbers prove that transferring tax dollars to companies through the illusion of carbon neutrality is a massive failure.