Is the car­bon tax the best way to re­duce pol­lu­tion?

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - Wal­ter Jones Wal­ter Jones lives in Amherst. His col­umn ap­pears in the Amherst News.

An­drew Scheer doesn’t like the car­bon tax. Doug Ford and his pro­vin­cial Con­ser­va­tives in On­tario are join­ing Saskatchewan in a court chal­lenge.

On­tario had a car­bon tax and Ford can­celled it. Ot­tawa is go­ing to im­pose a car­bon tax on any prov­ince that does not have a plan or a plan that Ot­tawa deems to be work­able.

In fact, this im­po­si­tion of the tax may be one of the things the next elec­tion fo­cuses on.

The ba­sic ar­gu­ment against the tax is it will cost the tax­payer more money. A study by the Cana­di­ans for a Clean Pros­per­ity, a non-par­ti­san group, tells a dif­fer­ent story. If the fed­eral gov­ern­ment im­poses the tax, the Green­house Gas Pric­ing Act states gov­ern­ment must rebate all of this tax to the prov­ince it col­lects it from.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau has said he favours giv­ing it back to the peo­ple di­rectly. This seems to me to be the best as we al­ready see some pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments with a price on car­bon putting it into gen­eral rev­enue.

Bri­tish Columbia is one since the NDP took over the gov­ern­ment. The Lib­eral car­bon tax that was go­ing back to the peo­ple is now pushed into gen­eral rev­enue.

En­vi­ron­men­tal economist

David Sawyer says the Trudeau method of re­bat­ing back to the peo­ple is used it would give them more money back than they would spend. It’s not the tax that will cost the tax­payer more to live, but the method used to re­dis­tribute the money col­lected.

The car­bon tax is not a tax on the peo­ple; it’s a tax or levy to pun­ish the com­pa­nies or peo­ple who are pol­lut­ing. Why tax ev­ery­one when you can tax the pol­luters?

The politi­cians op­pos­ing the tax have yet to sug­gest a bet­ter method.

Sev­eral No­bel prize win­ners have said car­bon tax is the best method to fight global warm­ing. The car­bon tax is sup­posed to be rev­enue neu­tral. If it’s not, blame your pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

Per­haps we should also be look­ing at a levy/tax on com­pa­nies who do not buy biodegradable prod­ucts, but buy cheaper prod­ucts that go into our land­fills.

We should also be look­ing at phas­ing out con­sumer plas­tic prod­ucts. I wrote a col­umn a while ago that said if we went to zero pol­lu­tion, we would have neg­li­gi­ble re­sults on global warm­ing. That is still true, but if we ig­nore global warm­ing we are not able to in­flu­ence the big pol­luters, so I guess we should do our part.

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