Firstly, trust everyone had a great Christmas and Hanukkah, as well as a positive start to the new year.
Over Christmas and New Year weekends we aired ‘Best of’ shows from ’16. This Saturday and Sunday we’re back to live programming and after the Albertans and Ontarians have felt the first pinches of a carbon tax and cap and trade scheme respectively, we’ll hear your feedback. I write the “first pinches” because as the year moves along the pain of carbon taxation and cap and trade will increase.
I’ll have much to share with you and you with me I’m sure. It’s the elderly and those on fixed lower incomes who will be most challenged. As the executive director of a rural Ontario United Way told us on air several times, she worries the out of control electricity pricing in the province will claim lives. Half a million residents of Ontario cannot afford their electricity bills and choose between food and heat while Premier Wynne only admits to having made a “mistake.” One huge mistake according to the provincial Auditor General who (and I’ll share this with you on Sunday’s show) has concerns that government deception will accompany cap and trade arrangements between Ontario, Quebec and California. How did that triumvirate ever see the light of day? Oh yes, of course, Ontario, Quebec and California.
If you’re in Alberta you’ve been struggling with a challenged provincial economy for some time now. You’ve seen thousands of provincial jobs disappear while the new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to deliver $2.6 billion to the UN to fight climate change, which you Albertans and your oil sands are responsible for, eh? Does Trudeau show up with a cheque book for struggling Alberta? Nope! However, he did sign off on $220,000 moving expenses for five staff members of his office after the Liberals won the 2015 federal election. That’s a cool $54,000 per move on average. Although we do recall Mr. Trudeau’s most senior advisor Gerald Butts (formerly Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne advisor) billed taxpayers $127,000 for his move from Toronto to Ottawa and the PM signed off on that bill until public pressure caused Mr. Butts to return a portion of the amount to the treasury.
While Ontario and Alberta were introduced to new and expensive carbon taxes to save the planet according to our PM, the prime minister had the Canadian military roll out a government Challenger jet and ferry him and his family to the Bahamas for vacation. Taxpayers funded the use of the plane, the fuel and the cost of keeping a crew on standby while Mr. Trudeau’s bill would have been the equivalence of airline economy fares for himself and each family member with him.
The PMO tried to cover his tracks, refusing for days to reveal where Justin Trudeau had gone on vacation.
I don’t begrudge the man and his family a vacation, although he does a fair bit of international selfie-touring to various conferences chattering “Canada is back” and with outsized delegations, like the one he ferried to Paris for the UN Climate Conference. Canada’s delegation was larger than that of the United States. No cost, no carbon footprint …eh?
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is the thorn in Justin Trudeau’s life these days as the Premier has publicly said (and on air with me) that he is very closely investigating taking the federal government to court over its carbon tax demands.
Mr. Wall jabbed Mr. Trudeau into submission during the news conference following last month’s Premiers/PM meeting on carbon taxation. Mr. Wall pointed out such a tax is excessively punitive for Saskatchewan’s agricultural sector (farmers), to which the Prime Minister replied the carbon tax money would be returned to Saskatchewan which caused the Premier to point out ‘you’re going to collect a carbon tax from our farmers, then return to money to the province so we can return it to the farmers?’ “What’s the point?” Exactly!
We’ll have lots to talk about concerning carbon taxes, cap and trade and your view of the governments which impose these taxes and whether you agree they are beneficial in saving the planet from cataclysmic global warming. Or, do you have a differing point of view?
I’ll have one of Canada’s business leaders speaking about how carbon taxation will affect Canada’s business community (you know, the employers) and how much damage Ontario’s punitive electricity prices (up 70% over the last 10 years and projected to climb another 23% between 2015 and 2020 by the provincial Auditor General) may do.
There’s much more and I’m looking forward to hearing your views. Pro, con, or still thinking about it.