13 September 2008

"Secret" Government-Sponsored Environment Report Out

A report commissioned by the Harper Government and submitted to Natural Resources Canada indicates that a $50 per tonne tax on carbon would have a statistically insignificant impact on the economy and would realize a small positive boost as early as 2015.

It comes as no surprise that the Harper Conservatives have been reluctant to make this report public. This is why the Green Party of Canada has released it for them, the party having obtained the report and supporting documents under the Access to Information Act.

Both the Greens and the Liberals have proposed multi-pronged approaches to addressing the urgent environmental, social and economic issues of our times.

Part of their proposals is reducing tax on income and investment and replacing the lost revenue with a tax on carbon. The Liberals would start the new tax at $10 per tonne and build it to $40 per tonne by the end of four years; the Greens would begin taxing carbon at $50 per tonne immediately.

According to this report, in neither case would the economy be harmed.

It's clear why the Harper Conservatives don't want to read their own government-sponsored report, which was prepared by economists or its supporting documents. They could hardly justify lying to the Canadian public - such as broadcasting dire warnings of the economic devastation and the threats to national unity which would result due to a carbon tax -, if they knew this were untrue.

Or would they?

ETA: Here's a suggestion: "If increasing taxes on carbon and reducing taxes on income would destroy the economy, shouldn't Harper be raising income taxes and slashing carbon taxes in order to create an economic boom?" In other words, rather than a Green Shift, go for a Black Shift™ (trademark pending - no, just kidding).

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