‘Chuckles’ challenges consensus.

There will be no apology for calling federal conservative leader Andrew Scheer, Chuckles. He practically giggled his way through a ten-minute on-air version of an interview with Mercedes Stephenson on Global’s West Block last Sunday. Mercedes might not have the gravitas of a Tom Clark or a Vassy Kapelos, but he could have answered some of her questions. For Chuckles to blame the model, on which his environmental plan is based, on the parliamentary budget officer was not only silly but irrelevant.

In the same sense, Chuckles and his crew must have been smoking something soothing when they came up with the plan to have industry dream up the environmentally friendly ways of cutting greenhouse gas. Without suggesting costs or the benefits to industry, or who would provide the funding and who would oversee the program, it seemed to be a half-baked idea—whose time has not come.

After his interview we were still left assuming that he will be keeping his commitment to ending the carbon tax for premiers Ford and Kenney. Since the liberal’s carbon tax is basically a revenue neutral plan, it is only being discontinued by the conservatives because it is annoying for those premiers who do not seem to have any plan for the environment of their own.

Where Chuckles really gets himself tied in knots is the conservative proposition that major polluters will pay if they do not cut emissions. Now that promise might sound much like a carbon tax to you and I, but Chuckles said it was not.

But for all of this supposedly tough talk about the environment, Chuckles also wants to assure Canadians that he is really a moderate guy. He figures it worked (for a while) for Stephen Harper, so he should try to sail the same ship.

But he has also learned from watching his friend Doug Ford trying to do everything in the first year. Chuckles will try to take longer before annoying the voters.  We hear that he is even going to take a few years before balancing the budget. Chuckles might as well chuckle. Nobody wants to see him cry.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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