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Economy

The carbon tax and energy affordability should be centre-stage in the next federal election

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5 minute read

All sorts of carbon tax advocates – environmentalists, academics, political insiders – are saying the following: all those annoying little Canadians who are so vulgar and uneducated as to object to carbon taxes should shut up once and for all.

Their assertion is: the Supreme Court has decided that the federal government can tell the provinces what to do, so the subject is settled.

But no, that is not quite true. What is true, is that IF a federal government wants to impose a carbon tax, it can.

The SCC majority decision is written by a most Trudeau-esque Chief Justice Wagner. In the decision the Chief Justice writes – in a dramatic overreach beyond law to the realm of policy – that climate change is “an existential threat to human life in Canada and around the world”. He then uses that as the basis for his affirmation of the federal government’s use of the Peace, Order and Good Government clause in the constitution.

Fine. We should all be troubled that the SCC has done this, but so be it. For my part, I thoroughly disagree with this decision, as I wrote in my previous blog post.

But the effect of the decision is not to bury the carbon tax issue, notwithstanding the arrogance and the climate alarmism of 6 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices.

What the SCC actually did is kick the carbon tax issue right back onto the front page of national politics.

What?

Yes, thanks to the SCC decision, we are all now once again talking about the carbon tax.

The fact that the Trudeau government has been told it can impose a carbon tax, does not mean that any successor federal government must impose a carbon tax.

Canadians do believe in climate change. I do.

And all of us are told constantly by many – from the likes of Greta Thunberg, and Justin Trudeau (and now) the Chief Justice of the SCC – that climate change is an existential threat. And now we are told that it must be addressed by carbon taxes.

Well …  no, actually.

That isn’t a logical sequencing of things. A belief in climate change doesn’t require a belief in it being an existential threat nor does it require an embrace of carbon taxes.

Making that point is hard, in the midst of all the noise.

But politicians with the courage to stand up for Canadians can make this point.

Politicians who care about the issue of affordable energy can, and should, make the case against carbon taxes.

The anti-carbon tax fight requires a pushback against the establishment interests who have a platform in mainstream media and elsewhere. It requires a pushback against the slew of policy wonks who like to say “carbon taxes just make so much sense.” And it requires a pushback against the many people who insult everyday Canadians who are sick and tired of watching their taxes go up.

If politicians of conviction have the courage to mount such a pushback, if they are prepared to listen to Canadians instead of trying to shut them down, they have a shot to articulate an alternative vision that is in the interests of Canadians’ long-term economic well-being.

In an upcoming blog, I will offer some suggestions for that alternative vision.

Click here for more articles from Dan McTeague of Canadians for Affordable energy

Dan McTeague | President, Canadians for Affordable Energy

 

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions.

Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

 

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions. Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

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Alberta

Exporting Publicly Funded Jobs is Bad for Alberta.

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This article is submitted by The City of Lacombe

Mayor Grant Creasey

Recently, the Mayor of the Town of Athabasca, Colleen Powell, outlined what she described as a battle with implications for all Alberta. The problem she described was the decision by the Board of Governors of Athabasca University (AU) to adopt a “near-virtual” model. This model effectively takes well-paying rural Albertan jobs in her community and outsources them to communities like Victoria, Toronto – or anywhere else the institution approves. Over 10 years, this decision will reduce employment in that community by nearly 500 high quality jobs, according to Mayor Powell’s opinion column submitted to the Edmonton Journal.

A similar battle is brewing in the City of Lacombe. Our largest employer, Alberta Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), has opted to pass a ‘Work Away Policy,’ essentially allowing staff to work remotely, anywhere in Canada.
Our Council has significant concerns with this decision, as it erodes employment opportunities both provincially and locally. Further, this policy change is not compliant with the formative legislation of AFSC.

It is important to remember that Athabasca University, and AFSC, were deliberately placed in our respective communities to promote rural development and viability. Premier Lougheed had a vision for Alberta that included locating publicly funded entities beyond the Edmonton and Calgary metropolitan regions – he recognized that strengthening rural Alberta strengthens all of Alberta.

As outlined in letters to our local MLA, as well as the Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and Premier Kenney, the City of Lacombe believes this Alberta Crown Corporation policy is bad for Lacombe and the province as a whole. While the letters outlining our concerns have gained limited traction, we believe Albertans should be aware of the implications when organizations outsource jobs away from rural communities like Lacombe and Athabasca.

AFSC’s decision is against the Agriculture Financial Services Regulation; the governing document of the crown corporation. The regulation designates “Lacombe, Alberta as the location in Alberta at which the head office of the Corporation will be situated.” Like AU, AFSC was intentionally placed in our community to support economic viability in smaller rural communities – and indeed it did, bringing highly-skilled and highly-paid employees to our community for years. Simply stated, AFSC’s “Work Away Policy” disadvantages Lacombe and negatively impacts our local economy. It increases commercial vacancy and results in less overall commercial investment.

For this reason, I want to publicly thank Mayor Powell for speaking out on the damage caused when large publicly-funded institutions outsource Albertan jobs from the communities that rely on them, into other provinces.
These changes should concern us all, and we hope that Albertans will agree. Exporting publicly funded, high quality jobs from small Albertan communities to Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal is ultimately harmful and will damage the economic viability of not only Athabasca and Lacombe, but all of Alberta.

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Economy

Raise a glass to celebrate Canadian Beer Day

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The third annual day dedicated to Canadian beer and our local brewing industry – Canadian Beer Day – is today – Wednesday, October 6, 2021, with coast-to-coast celebrations at local breweries, pubs, restaurants and at home with family and loved ones. Canadian brewers, beer enthusiasts, and the hardworking Canadians connected to the production and sale of beer across the country are raising a glass to #CheersAgain on this #CDNBeerDay – recognizing the positive impact beer has on our culture, communities, lives and economy.

First started in 2019, Canadian Beer Day is dedicated to celebrating beer and the thousands of Canadians involved in the brewing, selling, delivering, serving – and enjoying – Canada’s favourite beverage loved by millions across the country. The celebration, which occurs every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, recognizes and celebrates beer and breweries in Canada and the workers directly involved in beer’s supply chain – agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and hospitality.

“Beer brings Canadians together, and it’s been a part of our country’s culture and communities for generations. The last 18 months have been a challenging time for Canadians and businesses, specifically those in hospitality and tourism, making beer’s role in bringing friends and family together more important than ever,” said Dana Miller, Interim Director, Communications and Engagement for Beer Canada.

“Whether in a small or larger group this year, we hope that Canadians will join us in safely supporting our brewers, restauranteurs, barley farmers and all those connected to beer by raising a glass of your favourite Canadian-made beer today,” Miller added.

This year, Canadian Beer Day launched an initiative to fundraise for Food Banks Canada to help fellow Canadians struggling with food insecurity, especially during COVID-19. Apparel has been sold online to beer fans across the country, and Beer Canada will match all proceeds with a donation being made shortly after October 6.

Canadian brewers directly employ over 19,000 Canadians, and approximately 149,000 jobs across Canada’s hospitality, tourism, agriculture and manufacturing sector are supported by the production and sale of beer.

Canadian Beer Day is all about celebrating the beverage Canadians love, and the positive contributions brewers make to local communities across the country throughout the year. To find out more, visit www.canadianbeerday.ca.

QUICK FACTS

·       85% of the beer consumed in Canada is made here.

·       Approximately 149,000 Canadian jobs are supported by the production and sale of beer.

·       Over 19,000 Canadians work in breweries across the country.

·       Canada is home to over 1,200 breweries.

·       Beer contributes $13.6 billion to Canada’s GDP annually.

ABOUT BEER CANADA

Beer Canada is the voice of the people who make our nation’s beers. Our members account for 90% of the beer produced in Canada. The sale of beer supports 149,000 Canadian jobs, generates $14 billion in Gross Domestic Product and $5.7 billion in government tax revenues.

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