Dumping pollution into the atmosphere should not be free

Elizabeth May

Madam Speaker, I try to be as fair-minded as possible in this place.

I would not have constructed the carbon tax the way it has been constructed. However, it is incontrovertible that the best evidence from around the world, from established agencies like the International Monetary Fund, the International Energy Agency, and the World Bank, is that all economies need to stop subsidizing fossil fuels, as Stephen Harper promised to do in 2009, and all economies need to put a price on carbon. In this country and this generation, I absolutely understand why the Liberals have structured it so that any province can design its own plan and the money will be returned to that province. Therefore, it is revenue neutral to the federal government. However, it is not clear whether it is going to be revenue neutral in the hands of that province, but that is up to the individual province.

Does the Conservative Party object to the idea that dumping pollution into the atmosphere should not be free?

Randy Hoback – Member for Prince Albert

Madam Speaker, I appreciate my colleague’s open-mindedness. The question I would ask her is this. When we have a province like Saskatchewan that has a plan that is going to reduce emissions, will be good for the environment, and will meet all the targets that have been laid in front of us, why would the government not accept it? If that plan does not include a carbon tax, why is that a problem?

It should not be a problem if we have met all of our requirements and obligations but have done it in a different way. Why should the government be upset if it is done in a different way? It comes back to what the end game is for this carbon tax. The word is “taxation”. That is the end game for the current government. Whether it is directly or indirectly, it will have more revenues from a carbon tax. It is going to take money out of the pockets of people and will not change the activities of the people on the ground. Rural farmers have to drive to town. They have to burn petrol. There is no way around it at this point in time, and there is no way around it in the near future. Why punish those rural farmers by taxing them? That is what Saskatchewan did. It found a better way to do it without punishing those rural farmers.