Thursday, June 15, 2006

Charest Implements Carbon Tax

Ignatieff may have found a timely ally:
Quebec plans to tax oil and gas companies to finance its plan to implement the Kyoto protocol but also says it needs money from Ottawa to fight climate change, Premier Jean Charest said Thursday.

"The Kyoto protocol isn't perfect but currently it's the best thing on the table," Charest told a news conference...

Matthew Bramley of the Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank, said Quebec's tax on carbon-based fuels sets an important precedent.

"It's the first carbon tax in Canada. While Liberal leadership candidates argue about whether we should have a carbon tax, guess what, Quebec is implementing one."

Merits of a carbon tax aside, Charest's concrete action to implement Kyoto serves as an embarrassment for Harper. While Ambrose wastes all her energy arguing against Kyoto's targets, provincial governments are leading the way to contradict her claims. Charest hits the right balance by acknowledging Kyoto's shortcomings, while at the same time finding solutions within the framework- as opposed to the Tory plan of simply scrapping the entire exercise without any attempt.

It is curious that Charest reveals a carbon tax, right after Ignatieff makes his bold statements this past weekend. Me thinks Ignatieff may have had some advance knowledge of the Quebec government's thought process- the timing is far too coincidental.

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