Here comes Trudeau’s carbon caps

Prime minister and premiers could do irrevocable economic damage

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate change plan just keeps getting worse for Canadians.

It’s bad enough that he is forcing British Columbia to hike its carbon tax by 60 per cent, while the rest of the world rejects the idea.

Reliably Democrat-loving Washington State voted down a carbon tax last month and United States President-Elect Donald Trump has already ruled out a national tax. Australia and France have scrapped their carbon taxes.

We’re boldly going where no one else is bothering – all to address our minuscule, 1.65 per cent share of global carbon emissions.

Now, Trudeau is bragging about the bureaucracy his plan will beget. The government plans to unleash thousands of carbon cops across Canada.

Buried in a 209-page document of environmental red tape that was discussed by Trudeau and the provincial premiers this weekend are a dozen words that will cost taxpayers millions: “Compliance and enforcement will create thousands of new jobs across the country.”

Thousands of new government employees, paid by your tax dollars, policing carbon emissions and making sure people are installing double-glazed windows, driving less, and following the hundreds of other policies in the report. Or, if these new compliance jobs are forced on the private sector, it will mean higher consumer prices and housing costs.

This 209-page report is staggering in its impacts, costs, red tape and pure ludicrousness. Taxes, fees, levies, government intervention in agriculture, transportation, construction, reducing forestry: it’s all there, right down to red tape restricting the diets of methane-spewing cattle and new government rules on how to manage farm manure.

You can see why Trudeau will need a climate police bureaucracy to enforce all of this. There won’t be a single part of life that won’t be more expensive and more difficult.

Contrast that with Australia – they brought in a carbon tax in 2012 and repealed it two years later. During that time, it cost the Australian economy $16 billion and four political party leaders lost their jobs over it – this according to Chris Berg, a senior fellow with Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs, who spoke in four Canadian cities last week as part of a Canadian Taxpayers Federation tour.

We were told we would lead the world, but it didn’t look like the world was interested in carbon taxes. The idea that anything we in Australia could do to make a legitimate impact on climate change was fairly ludicrous.… Climate change is a global problem, not a regional problem.”

Berg is right. The rest of the world aren’t interested. And neither Australia, with 1.5 per cent of the world’s emissions, or Canada, with 1.65 per cent, is going to make any difference.

It’s time for Trudeau and the premiers to scrap this plan for higher taxes and more red tape before they do irrevocable economic damage.

Jordan Bateman is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s B.C. Director.