News this week of shrinking ice coverage in the Arctic Circle served once more to show the urgency, particularly in northern parts of Canada of making real reductions in greenhouse gasses.
So it says something that the premiers of the three territories most affected by climate change have come out against Stephane Dion’s $15 billion carbon tax scheme as the wrong answer to a growing problem.
The three leaders savaged the plan for its ineffectiveness and balked at the outrageous price tag for hard pressed northern families.
Yukon premier Dennis Fentie slammed Dion for proposing to increasing prices while having no plan to reduce emissions:
Mr. Fentie said he doesn't believe there's any actual evidence that a carbon tax will result in reducing emissions
“We think there are better ways to deal with this issue than another tax being applied, especially in the North where the cost of goods and services is already predominantly higher than anywhere else in the country.”
Of course, one of the advantages of the cap and trade system Jack Layton is proposing is that it reduces emissions while creating a new revenue stream for green innovation and investment. Northwest Territories premier Floyd Rolland identified that a major benefit over Dion’s tax: “We see instead a more productive or sensible solution to combatting the impact of climate change, such as making strategic investment in alternative energy sources such as hydro electricity, wind power and bio-mass.”
Is it any coincidence then that the only premier left to be in favour of Dion’s plan is the one who happens to be the brother of the Liberal environment critic?
Dion’s carbon tax is unpopular because it puts targets and timelines on increasing prices, instead of decreasing emissions. That’s why the northern premiers are against it, and why Dion now appears lost in the barrens.