Sunday, July 06, 2008

"I know he cares about global warming. I know he cares about climate change" John Baird on Stephane Dion

John Baird on today's Question Period. The above is what you call a selective quote, wherein you take something out of context to present a half truth. I intentionally left out the rest of Baird's commentary, the part where he went on to criticize Dion, because I thought I would play his disingenious game. What does it say about John Baird, that he is reduced to using misleading quotes, from less than supportive sources, to find support for his policies? Today, Baird used quotes from both Jack Mintz and Don Drummond, both times failing to present a honest picture. Simply amazing, that Baird can't find one clear supportive reference, from an expert, instead he must play word games for any semblance of credibility.

John Baird, quoting from Don Drummond:
"Don't believe me, believe Don Drummond. He said 'It's never going to be revenue neutral'"

Here is the entire quote referenced by Baird:
"It´s never going to be revenue neutral for any individual or any corporation," observed TD Bank chief economist Don Drummond.

"Everybody´s going to be able to do their own calculations to some degree, and there will be winners and there will be losers.

"So, in aggregate, you may say, ´Okay, the $15 billion got recycled, but it didn´t in my household budget."´

"I think it will be revenue neutral, but there will be no individual or company in the country that will exactly get back what it pays back in carbon tax," Drummond told CBC News on Wednesday. "There will be a lot of winners and a lot of losers."

Not revenue neutral for everyone, but revenue neutral overall. Quite a different perspective than the Baird presentation. Just for fun, Drummond has also said:
"The idea itself is very sensible," Don Drummond, the chief economist at TD Bank, told CTV's Canada AM on Friday.

"Given these uncertainties, many U. S. and Canadian businesses prefer a carbon tax over cap-and-trade and regulatory regimes."

Baird then quoted respected economist Jack Mintz. Baird used this quote:

"Where the Liberal proposal is weaker compared to the Conservative plan is that the latter is more directed at reducing carbon."

The funniest part, Baird uses a Financial Post opinion piece from Mintz for the quote, the same article where Mintz basically calls Baird a liar:
Nonetheless, the effect of the plan will largely fall on consumers and businesses purchasing energy-intensive products. The Conservatives have not been straightforward with John Baird, Minister of the Environment, indicating that only dirty big companies will bear the costs. However, given that companies must raise capital from international markets, costs cannot be passed onto shareholders but instead must result in higher consumer prices or lost jobs.

Given that the technology fund and Clean Development Mechanism payments can only cover some of the requirement, the targets can only be achieved if sufficient domestic offsets, which are projects sanctioned by Environment Canada, are available. Many companies have told the government that domestic offsets will probably not be available to cover the shortfalls, especially in the early years of the plan. If so, only one action is available to avoid criminal charges -- to curb any production that limits emissions. Canadians could be faced with brownouts, high fuel costs and lost jobs.

Again, what does it say about somebody, that Baird is reduced to using quotes from an article that also says he has "not been straightforward"? Mintz argues the Conservative plan would pass down the cost to the consumer, which is exactly the Conservatives main criticism of the Liberal plan. Tsk tsk:
In an interview, Mintz dismissed Conservative claims that Dion´s carbon plan would send shockwaves through the economy.

"I don´t think the plan will be negative on growth," he said.

"In fact, it will probably be positive. Because what you´re doing is taking taxes off investment and work effort and you´re putting it on to consumption."

In any debate about policy, you can usually find supportive voices to counter the one's that are critical. Even relatively weak ideas can find some backing, there are so many differing perspectives, the sheer mass of opinion makes it easy to find a friendly voice. Within that reality, John Baird is an utter joke, so desperate he actually quotes articles from people that crticize him personally and actually support the Liberal plan. If that's the best you can do John, you really are nothing more than an irrelevant outsider to this entire discussion. Anyways, I hope the Liberals use the video of the Baird quote in my title praising Dion's sincerity ;)


Walks With Coffee said...

The Supreme Court has ruled that if a reasonable person could come to a conclusion based on evidence, then that person can speak their conclusion.

A reasonable conclusion from the above facts: John Baird is either lying or a buffoon... more likely, he is a lying buffoon.

At some point the MSM has to start expressing a similar opinion, or they are simply reporting buffoonery as fact.

knb said...

Great to see you back. I saw the interview and I think that was a brilliant breakdown.

Walks correct, specifically related to the last para.

Gotta run, dinner, but hope to be back later.

Mark Francis said...

The gall of Baird!

Heck, more people need to look at the Conservatives proposal. Mintz himself pointed out in that article that the Conservatives are doing cap-and-trade. From the government mouth at :


How industry can comply

Several options will allow companies to choose the most cost-effective way to meet their reduction targets and can encourage innovation and the adoption of cleaner technologies. These options include:

...# Emissions trading: Companies whose emissions are below their target will receive credits that could either be “banked” for future use, or sold to other companies who had not met their target. Emissions trading will initially be done domestically but future linkages with emissions trading systems in the U.S., and possibly Mexico, will be explored.

# Offsets:As part of the domestic emissions trading mechanism, companies could acquire offset credits by purchasing emissions reductions from activities that are not regulated (e.g. emissions from agriculture). The offsets system is a way to engage other sectors of the Canadian economy to make greenhouse gas reductions.

# Access to Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism:This will generate real reductions globally through emissions reductions from projects in developing countries.


And what affect will the conservative plan have on our economy and our lives? Well..


The costs are real, but manageable. This can include price increases for consumer products such as vehicles, electricity, natural gas, and household appliances. We must all be prepared to do our part in order to get the job done.

The Liberals would give us tax cuts to deal with those costs. The Conservatives simply have us footing the bill, while low emission regions sell their unused allocations of emissions to higher emitting regions. Read: Alberta (high emissions) will have to send money East (low emissions, esp. Quebec).

So, should not Albertans be objecting to the Conservatives' plan as well, given that it will also transfer wealth east and increase costs?

Woman at Mile 0 said...

Yah I think the main worry here is the green shift may mean smaller overall salaries for the fat cat oil barons in Canada,the US and Europe. I for one am looking forward to seeing that happen.

Blues Clair said...

"The Conservatives have not been straightforward with John Baird, Minister of the Environment, indicating that only dirty big companies will bear the costs. However, given that companies must raise capital from international markets, costs cannot be passed onto shareholders but instead must result in higher consumer prices or lost jobs."
- Jack Mintz
Palmer Professor of Public Policy, University of Calgary

Walks With Coffee said...

Blues Clair quotes the obvious.

The point of a neutral tax shift is to raise the cost on things we don't want (carbon pollution). The obvious part of the program left out by Clair's quote is the lowering on the cost on things we do want (income and investment).

The "lying buffoonery is the selective nature of Blues Clair's quote: its deliberate absence of the positive offset of the neutral tax shift.

Clair, a half truth is a lie. Do you mean to deliberately propagate a lie?