While Rome burns

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

I am happy to see Ef­fi­ciency P.E.I. roll out its elec­tric/hy­brid ve­hi­cle cam­paign. Pub­lic education is a crit­i­cal weapon against the loom­ing catas­tro­phe of cli­mate change.

Un­for­tu­nately, Is­landers re­quire more of a re­ward than a pa­ter­nal pat on the back­side and a cof­fee mug to change their be­hav­iour. It is crit­i­cal that gov­ern­ment cre­ate a stri­dent and ro­bust suite of in­cen­tives to ef­fec­tively im­pact Is­landers’ choice of trans­porta­tion.

The pro­vin­cial tax re­bate for elec­tric and hy­brid cars was whisked off the ta­ble five years ago. No doubt fis­cal pru­dence is gov­ern­ment’s stated rea­son for with­hold­ing such in­cen­tives.

This has lit­tle cred­i­bil­ity in the con­text of gov­ern­ment’s will­ing­ness to be­come the wet nurse for spe­cific sec­tors of hand picked in­dus­tries. This is car­ried out with no pub­lic over­sight and with­out con­sid­er­a­tion of the im­pact those in­dus­tries have on the en­vi­ron­ment.

Top-down, short-term pol­i­cy­mak­ing may sit well with the Lib­eral donor base, but the ex­tra­or­di­nary costs in­curred will be borne by fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Boyd Allen, Pow­nal

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