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Ottawa should scrap its oil and gas emissions cap plan

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From the Fraser Institute

By Elmira Aliakbari and Julio Mejía

Ottawa’s proposed GHG cap, which solely targets the oil and gas industry while exempting the remaining 73.4 per cent of the country’s GHG emissions, lacks a scientific rationale.

Once again, Alberta is at odds with the federal government, this time over proposed regulations, which would impose a cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the oil and gas sector, with the goal of reducing emissions by 35 to 38 per cent by 2030 (relative to 2019 levels).

The Smith government fiercely opposes these regulations and recently submitted formal feedback to Ottawa. While the federal government says these regulations are necessary to combat climate change, in the reality they will impose significant costs on Canadians without yielding detectable environmental benefits.

Firstly, it’s a universally accepted fact that a unit of carbon dioxide has the same atmospheric effect regardless of its source, be it from an oilsands mine in Alberta, a manufacturer in Quebec or a steel mill in Ontario. CO2 is CO2 is CO2. Therefore, Ottawa’s proposed GHG cap, which solely targets the oil and gas industry while exempting the remaining 73.4 per cent of the country’s GHG emissions, lacks a scientific rationale.

Moreover, Canada already has a national carbon tax aimed at reducing GHG emissions. Stacking a GHG cap on top of the carbon tax contradicts the rationale for a carbon tax and would likely result in emissions reduction at a very high cost. According to a recent economic analysis by the Conference Board of Canada, the cap could reduce Canada’s economy (i.e. GDP) by up to $1 trillion between 2030 and 2040, eliminate up to 151,000 jobs by 2030, reduce federal government revenue by up to $151 billion between 2030 and 2040, and reduce Alberta government revenue by up to $127 billion over the same period.

These new findings echo earlier studies, which show the proposed cap’s large costs and little benefits. For instance, a recent study found that an emissions cap on the oil and gas sector would inevitably reduce production and exports, leading to at least $45 billion in lost economic activity in 2030 alone, accompanied by a substantial drop in government revenue.

Again, these large economic costs come with almost no discernible environmental benefit. Even if Canada were to entirely shut down its oil and gas sector by 2030, thus eliminating all GHG emissions from the sector, the resulting reduction in global GHG emissions would amount to a mere four-tenths of one per cent (i.e. 0.004 per cent) with virtually no impact on the climate or any detectable environmental, health or safety benefits.

Meanwhile, every credible forecast of world energy consumption indicates that oil and gas will continue to dominate the global energy supply mix for decades. Given the sustained demand for fossil fuels, constraining oil and gas production and exports in Canada would merely shift production to other regions, potentially to countries with lower environmental and human rights standards such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela.

Clearly, this is an opportunity for Canada, which possesses abundant reserves of natural gas (a cleaner alternative to coal), to play a pivotal role in reducing global GHG emissions. Countries such as China, which is grappling with rising energy demands, are eager to reduce their heavy reliance on coal. And several countries including Germany want to diversify away from Russian gas for geopolitical and energy security reasons. By expanding our natural gas resources, Canada could unleash significant economic activity (jobs, revenue, etc.) while reducing global GHG emissions and improving global energy security.

The Trudeau government will likely publish a draft version of the regulations, which will include the cap, sometime in the next few months. The cap plan lacks any scientific, economic or environmental rationale so the government should scrap the cap for the benefit of Canadians and the world.

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Maxime Bernier warns Canadians of Trudeau’s plan to implement WEF global tax regime

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

If ‘the idea of a global corporate tax becomes normalized, we may eventually see other agreements to impose other taxes, on carbon, airfare, or who knows what.’

People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier has warned that the Liberal government’s push for World Economic Forum (WEF) “Global Tax” scheme should concern Canadians. 

According to Canada’s 2024 Budget, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is working to pass the WEF’s Global Minimum Tax Act which will mandate that multinational companies pay a minimum tax rate of 15 percent.

“Canadians should be very concerned, for several reasons,” People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier told LifeSiteNews, in response to the proposal.

“First, the WEF is a globalist institution that actively campaigns for the establishment of a world government and for the adoption of socialist, authoritarian, and reactionary anti-growth policies across the world,” he explained. “Any proposal they make is very likely not in the interest of Canadians.” 

“Second, this minimum tax on multinationals is a way to insidiously build support for a global harmonized tax regime that will lower tax competition between countries, and therefore ensure that taxes can stay higher everywhere,” he continued.  

“Canada reaffirms its commitment to Pillar One and will continue to work diligently to finalize a multilateral treaty and bring the new system into effect as soon as a critical mass of countries is willing,” the budget stated.  

“However, in view of consecutive delays internationally in implementing the multilateral treaty, Canada cannot continue to wait before taking action,” it continued.   

The Trudeau government also announced it would be implementing “Pillar Two,” which aims to establish a global minimum corporate tax rate. 

“Pillar Two of the plan is a global minimum tax regime to ensure that large multinational corporations are subject to a minimum effective tax rate of 15 per cent on their profits wherever they do business,” the Liberals explained.  

According to the budget, Trudeau promised to introduce the new legislation in Parliament soon.  

The global tax was first proposed by Secretary-General of Amnesty International at the WEF meeting in Davos this January.  

“Let’s start taxing carbon…[but] not just carbon tax,” the head of Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, said during a panel discussion.  

According to the WEF, the tax, proposed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “imposes a minimum effective rate of 15% on corporate profits.”  

Following the meeting, 140 countries, including Canada, pledged to impose the tax.  

While a tax on large corporations does not necessarily sound unethical, implementing a global tax appears to be just the first step in the WEF’s globalization plan by undermining the sovereignty of nations.  

While Bernier explained that multinationals should pay taxes, he argued it is the role of each country to determine what those taxes are.   

“The logic of pressuring countries with low taxes to raise them is that it lessens fiscal competition and makes it then less costly and easier for countries with higher taxes to keep them high,” he said.  

Bernier pointed out that competition is good since it “forces everyone to get better and more efficient.” 

“In the end, we all end up paying for taxes, even those paid by multinationals, as it causes them to raise prices and transfer the cost of taxes to consumers,” he warned.  

Bernier further explained that the new tax could be a first step “toward the implementation of global taxes by the United Nations or some of its agencies, with the cooperation of globalist governments like Trudeau’s willing to cede our sovereignty to these international organizations.”   

“Just like ‘temporary taxes’ (like the income tax adopted during WWI) tend to become permanent, ‘minimum taxes’ tend to be raised,” he warned. “And if the idea of a global corporate tax becomes normalized, we may eventually see other agreements to impose other taxes, on carbon, airfare, or who knows what.”   

Trudeau’s involvement in the WEF’s plan should not be surprising considering his current environmental goals – which are in lockstep with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – which include the phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades.    

The reduction and eventual elimination of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum – the aforementioned group famous for its socialist “Great Reset” agenda – in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved.     

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Canada’s economy has stagnated despite Ottawa’s spin

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From the Fraser Institute

By Ben Eisen, Milagros Palacios and Lawrence Schembri

Canada’s inflation-adjusted per-person annual economic growth rate (0.7 per cent) is meaningfully worse than the G7 average (1.0 per cent) over this same period. The gap with the U.S. (1.2 per cent) is even larger. Only Italy performed worse than Canada.

Growth in gross domestic product (GDP), the total value of all goods and services produced in the economy annually, is one of the most frequently cited indicators of Canada’s economic performance. Journalists, politicians and analysts often compare various measures of Canada’s total GDP growth to other countries, or to Canada’s past performance, to assess the health of the economy and living standards. However, this statistic is misleading as a measure of living standards when population growth rates vary greatly across countries or over time.

Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, for example, recently boasted that Canada had experienced the “strongest economic growth in the G7” in 2022. Although the Trudeau government often uses international comparisons on aggregate GDP growth as evidence of economic success, it’s not the first to do so. In 2015, then-prime minister Stephen Harper said Canada’s GDP growth was “head and shoulders above all our G7 partners over the long term.”

Unfortunately, such statements do more to obscure public understanding of Canada’s economic performance than enlighten it. In reality, aggregate GDP growth statistics are not driven by productivity improvements and do not reflect rising living standards. Instead, they’re primarily the result of differences in population and labour force growth. In other words, they aren’t primarily the result of Canadians becoming better at producing goods and services (i.e. productivity) and thus generating more income for their families. Instead, they primarily reflect the fact that there are simply more people working, which increases the total amount of goods and services produced but doesn’t necessarily translate into increased living standards.

Let’s look at the numbers. Canada’s annual average GDP growth (with no adjustment for population) from 2000 to 2023 was the second-highest in the G7 at 1.8 per cent, just behind the United States at 1.9 per cent. That sounds good, until you make a simple adjustment for population changes by comparing GDP per person. Then a completely different story emerges.

Canada’s inflation-adjusted per-person annual economic growth rate (0.7 per cent) is meaningfully worse than the G7 average (1.0 per cent) over this same period. The gap with the U.S. (1.2 per cent) is even larger. Only Italy performed worse than Canada.

Why the inversion of results from good to bad? Because Canada has had by far the fastest population growth rate in the G7, growing at an annualized rate of 1.1 per cent—more than twice the annual population growth rate of the G7 as a whole at 0.5 per cent. In aggregate, Canada’s population increased by 29.8 per cent during this time period compared to just 11.5 per cent in the entire G7.

Clearly, aggregate GDP growth is a poor tool for international comparisons. It’s also not a good way to assess changes in Canada’s performance over time because Canada’s rate of population growth has not been constant. Starting in 2016, sharply higher rates of immigration have led to a pronounced increase in population growth. This increase has effectively partially obscured historically weak economic growth per person over the same period.

Specifically, from 2015 to 2023, under the Trudeau government, inflation-adjusted per-person economic growth averaged just 0.3 per cent. For historical perspective, per-person economic growth was 0.8 per cent annually under Brian Mulroney, 2.4 per cent under Jean Chrétien and 2.0 per cent under Paul Martin.

Due to Canada’s sharp increase in population growth in recent years, aggregate GDP growth is a misleading indicator for comparing economic growth performance across countries or time periods. Canada is not leading the G7, or doing well in historical terms, when it comes to economic growth measures that make simple adjustments for our rapidly growing population. In reality, we’ve become a growth laggard and our living standards have largely stagnated for the better part of a decade.

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