Former Alberta Liberal leader and current Senator Grant Mitchell has an op/ed piece in the Edmonton Journal today, where (in my view) he argues rather persuasively that, despite the uninformed fear mongering of the anti-environment conservative right, the Green Shift is actually a very good thing for Alberta
And don't listen to those that call this plan complicated. It's really quite simple: big tax cuts on income, tax increase on carbon and pollution. Less tax on good stuff, more tax on bad stuff. Seems simple to me. The only difference between the Liberal plan and the others is that we give you tax cuts; with the others you'll just be out of pocket.
The Conservatives are all stick. We're including a big carrot.
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Stéphane Dion is offering us the kind of politics that we say that we want. He has taken a stand on the Green Shift to deal with the climate-change crisis in a way that no self-serving politician would ever do. He has accorded Canadians and Albertans the level of respect they deserve for their intelligence and thoughtfulness.
The Green Shift premise is this: Let's stop taxing those things we want to encourage like income and profit, and start taxing those things we must discourage, like greenhouse gases (GHGs).
The money raised from GHGs will be used to reduce income and corporate taxes, create further tax benefits for families, provide additional support for low-income Canadians, and help rural and Northern Canadians meet their particular fuel demands.
Canada's auditor general will confirm that the shift will be revenue neutral, in an annual audit required by law.
It seems so anachronistic, so 19th-century, to continue to tax income and profit, when there is a far less acceptable output in our economy to tax.