Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Green Shift can benefit Alberta

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.

St├ęphane 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.

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4 comments:

Gayle said...

Sadly, as someone who lives here, I can tell you that message will be lost on most Albertans (though it MIGHT help Wachowich win Edmonton Centre back).

The LPC could offer to eliminate income taxes and they still would not be elected here.

My advice is the LPC not waste too much money campaigning outside Edmonton Centre.

Steve V said...

"St├ęphane Dion is offering us the kind of politics that we say that we want."

In many ways, this election will be a referendum on style. IF, all the bitching and moaning about politicans is true, then people should look at Dion like a breath of fresh air. Harper's smears only work if we vote for it, so ultimately where we go from here will be on our shoulders.

Gayle said...

I think you are right Steve. Dion has worked hard to demonstrate he is a man of integrity and honesty.

Harper just wants an election to break the liberal party, and broke an election promise to do it.

That is a pretty good contrast.

A BCer in Toronto said...

gayle, perhaps it won't get through, but all we can do is keep countering lies with facts and hope some will be willing to see through the spin, and past ideology. Do you think there is a way to pitch this in Alberta?

steve, you and grant are right. Frankly, I won't be holding my breath though. I think what we say and how we vote are different things. It's like how we say we dislike tabloid journalism yet we buy those papers anyway. If we can equate style to leadership and judgment though, that could prove interesting.