If you happened to tune into CBC Radio’s The House this weekend, you no doubt heard Stephane Dion acknowledge that his carbon tax “won’t get it done.”
As has been noted here, of all the reasons Dion’s carbon tax disappoints, there’s only one that matters: It doesn’t contain a single target for greenhouse gas emission reductions. Not one.
Dion admits that his carbon tax may get us nowhere closer to meeting our GHG reduction targets:
KATHLEEN PETTY: What isn't in here is a calculation of what kind of reduction this plan will have on greenhouse-gas emissions. [You] don't have any numbers associated with this plan specifically of what kind of impact it's going to have on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.
STÉPHANE DION: Yes, two things about that: First thing is all the economists that are expert in the environment came with the conclusion that the tax on carbon will decrease emissions -
PETTY: By how much, though?
DION: They don't agree about the how-much, because it's difficult to know, to be fair with them. We know emissions will go down. What we don't know is at which speed emissions will go down.
Unlike Jack Layton’s plan for a cap-and-trade system that puts a firm cap on emissions and is supported by both Obama and McCain, Dion’s plan is just a gamble. An enormous $15 billion gamble based on all the security of Stéphane Dion’s “we don’t know.”
Going with Dion’s plan instead of Layton’s is tantamount to the same leap of faith involved in allowing a passerby to perform “experimental” brain surgery, while an ambulance sits outside waiting to treat your sprained ankle.
As economist Marc Jaccard says: "This is going to be messy – really messy,"
It’s why former Liberal leader Bill Graham is sounding the alarm bells too.