HELPING SMALL BUSINESS
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)