Better to be true to your beliefs, and present your party as an alternative to the one in power...
Dion said he plans to use both “carrots and sticks” — incentives as well as regulation, but not impose rules so unreasonable that they would drive industry away. “I’m not a tree-hugger. I’m not a socialist,” he declared. “I believe in the market economy.”
Dion is a sincere and likeable man who deserves credit for reaching out to Alberta. If he hopes to overcome wary voters, however, he’ll have to be a lot more specific on what his green plan will mean to the economic heart of this province.
Even the oil patch is open-minded:
The oilpatch appeared to respond favourably to Dion's approach to environmental tax reform.
Greg Stringham, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said while his members want to study Dion's remarks in more detail, they like his tone.
"This is relatively new that they (the Liberals) would use the incentive mechanism to try and bring out new technologies to address environmental issues," Stringham said from Calgary.
Dion has been honest in discussing his environmental solutions. Today, Dion offered the carrot and stick approach:
Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says Canada needs penalties for energy companies that don't reduce carbon dioxide emissions and water use, especially in Alberta's booming oilsands region.
"If you do the right thing, you pay less; if you don't do it, you pay more," Mr. Dion told a Calgary radio talkshow Friday. "The ones who are doing that will be rewarded and the ones that are not doing that will be penalized in the market where they need to be competitive."
Apart from offering tax incentives, Dion also spoke of a domestic carbon trading system. Most of the criticism surrounding carbon trading revolves around lost capital, leaving Canada to meet our targets. A domestic system avoids this critique, while lowering overall emissions. The system also allows for some flexiblity for industries that are particularly challenged, an idea which should calm oil patch nerves.
Dion also made his views known on nuclear energy, and I found his comments here quite interesting:
Speaking to the Calgary Herald editorial board, Dion acknowledged nuclear is part of the “energy mix” in Canada, but doesn’t believe it’s a viable option due to lingering concerns about whether waste can be safely disposed.
“I have no power to stop a province to do that. It’s provincial jurisdiction,” Dion said. “I am concerned about the waste and I don’t hide my concerns. It is something I would like to see as a debate in Canada.”
It's really none of my business, you can do what you want, but I have an opinion. Perfect. Dion is showing that he isn't shy, his words aren't political motivated and I think some Albertans will respect that. Albertans are quite concerned about the environment, so people are willing to listen. Dion's tour of Alberta has shown us many things, but the most striking in my mind is how inadequate the Tory rhetoric. Can someone please cite one quote where Harper has actually said anything meaningful, other than massive generalities and easy platitudes? We have one leader offering ideas, while we have another who conveys infinite negativism and no solutions.