The myopic Mr. Brown.

It reminds us that even a stopped clock can be right twice a day. Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown has no policies but we know what he is against. He tells us that he will cancel the Liberal Cap and Trade environmental protection plan. He has no idea what he might replace it with but he might be right to get rid of it.

What Brown does not seem to know is that the combination of a federal carbon tax and a provincial cap-and-trade in Ontario and Quebec creates a complex tax on tax on commodities such as gasoline, natural gas and home heating oil. With the cap-and-trade system being hidden—and further confused by being linked to the California and Quebec systems—consumers have no idea how much tax they are paying, and to whom?

Cap-and-trade is not transparent. It is paid at the producer level in a deal-making process with the various provincial and state governments. The consumer only sees it as a higher price once federal, provincial taxes, sales taxes and retail mark-up have been added. And to make matters worse, exporters are paying the cap-and-trade rate too and are less competitive in world markets.

The last time we saw an industry working on its own to say what the carbon cap should be on their industry was Alberta’s tar sands exploiters. In nine years of the Harper government in Canada, the tar sands people never did set a cap on their carbon.

Between carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system, carbon tax is the more honest and open system. The bill starts out the same for all manufacturers. You put so much carbon into our environment, here is what it is going to cost you. It is simple, open and honest. The challenge is to the manufacturer to reduce the carbon emissions and reduce the tax. If the carbon is reduced, the tax is reduced. It is easy to see what is happening and all figures are there for the consumer to see.

Obviously, this openness would be too much for Patrick Brown should he ever, accidently, get to be premier. He would be unlikely to ever change it as it would suit his deceptive nature.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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