Right in the centre - Excessive and useless taxes solve nothing


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

Due to the Easter and Good Friday long weekend, this column is being written a day ahead of the Alberta election. It is bit dangerous to assume a day ahead of an election who will win, but polls show that the United Conservative Party (UCP) will win. If the UCP is victorious, it will mean that there will be conservative style governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. It would be nice to think that the Liberal/NDP grip on provincial parties will slip even further. Hopefully, the conservative governments across the country will unite to try and lower deficits and eliminate the very ill-thought-out carbon tax.

As MP Robert Sopuck said at a recent ag forum, a carbon tax in Canada makes no sense whatsoever, as Canada accounts for a bit over one per cent of the carbon emissions in the world.

I love the pictures on Facebook of the beautiful countryside and the caption that says, “I live here.” The second, contrasting picture shows a very smoggy city and the caption says, “I am tired of being told I have to take better care of the environment by people who live here.” How true that is. The ag areas of Canada feed us all, support wildlife in increasing numbers and serve as the largest carbon storage area on the continent, except for the forests perhaps, and are a model of environmental sustainability.

Certainly, all sectors need to look to doing everything better, but it is hard to swallow moral instruction from cities that bury millions of tonnes of garbage and in the case of many seashore communities, dump their garbage in the ocean and wonder why the turtles get strangled and the whales eat plastic.

British Columbia is a province that has its own quirky set of politics. They split the conservative vote between so-called liberals and conservatives and then wonder why NDP governments get elected. The premier of BC says he wants cars and light trucks to be emission free by 2040. Jason Kenney, who may be Alberta’s premier by the time you read this, has reportedly said that he can make BC carbon free by 2020, by simply shutting off the pipelines. Not likely to happen, but it makes for a good illustration of how senseless a carbon tax has become.

The day may come when electric vehicles replace gas and diesel powered ones, but it is long way off. Also, when people spout the merits of electric cars and trucks, they aren’t figuring in the cost of electricity or the money required to build the infrastructure to produce it. Wind generators and heat powered steam generators are costly and don’t have the long service life of hydro dams. Some of Manitoba’s early dams are approaching 100 years of age. Wind turbines, at the present technology, die off long before that.

When, or if the full switch to electric power comes, be it wind, solar, steam or hydro sourced, Manitoba will be in a good position. The problem is that the economy has to survive to get to the future and it certainly won’t survive under the NDP/Liberal/socialist model for our economy. Excessive and useless taxes, like the carbon tax, will do nothing to help us “get there”. A country has to grow into prosperous change, not tax its way in.

Disclaimer: The writer serves as a volunteer president of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association. The views expressed in this column are the writer’s personal views and are not to be taken as being  the view of the MCNA board or Banner & Press staff.