Edmonton Sun - - COMMENT -

of course, we should champion small busi­ness and not hike their taxes (erin o’Toole, Sept. 11). I love my var­i­ous mom and pop stores, phar­macy, In­dian, Chi­nese restau­rants, and good old­fash­ioned Canadian greasy spoons here in Mim­ico by the Lake. And oth­ers ob­vi­ously do too be­cause there is al­ways a buzz of peo­ple out and about on the street — a true Jane Ja­cobs par­adise, so dif­fer­ent to the dead­zones in U.S. cities. But with re­spect to a na­tional car­bon tax that you say will squeeze the mar­gins of many small busi­nesses, I’m not sure why you think that will hap­pen be­cause ev­ery like prod­uct will carry the same tax, no mat­ter who is re­tail­ing it. So there is no rea­son small busi­ness should be dis­ad­van­taged. The ex­tra cost will fall on con­sumers. There is no need for that ei­ther be­cause the so-called tax should be rev­enue neu­tral: In which case it is not re­ally a tax, but more like a fee on pol­luters, the pro­ceeds of which should go to the peo­ple. Let’s point the fin­ger at the right level of gov­ern­ment. The feds, for all their man­i­fest faults and vi­cis­si­tudes, are clear there is go­ing to be rev­enue. It is up to the prov­inces whether to squan­der the pro­ceeds on their own pet, par­ti­san projects, or, to do the right thing, which would be to give the peo­ple dividends that will off­set the higher cost of ev­ery­thing. only then can the fee be raised high enough to be ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing emis­sions.

JoHn STePHenSon (As you note, the key to fair and ef­fec­tive car­bon pric­ing is 100% rev­enue neu­tral­ity, with all the money raised re­turned to the pub­lic. With­out that, it’s just a gov­ern­ment cash grab)

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