Sunday, January 14, 2007

Environmental Tidbits

A new poll shows Canadians favor tax incentives to go green:
Canadians are more likely to support tax cuts tied to good environmental behaviour than tax cuts with no strings attached, a new poll suggests.

Decima Research asked people to choose between two hypothetical election promises - a $1,000 Conservative tax break for every household and a $1,000 Liberal break limited to households that took pro-environment action.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents said they would prefer the Liberal promise versus 28 per cent who preferred the Conservative pledge, say the survey results provided to The Canadian Press. Twenty-one per cent were unsure.

"I think what we're seeing here is a signal that's really about what kind of policies people want," Decima CEO Bruce Anderson said in an interview.

"While they appreciate the idea of tax cuts they also appreciate that policy should be increasingly directed towards achieving environmental improvement. That's what that 51 per cent are telling us they think."

Those are pretty impressive numbers, because normally polls show people just want their taxes lowered, period. Another example of the Harper government being behind the curve.

Suzuki, with some interesting comments on Baird:
"Mr. Baird called me within two hours after he was appointed. When I called him back, he said completely out of the blue, 'David, I want you to understand, I'm not a flat Earther'," Suzuki said.

"He said I believe the information scientists are accumulating about global warming. I'm not denying its occurrence. Well to me that was a huge step up from what the previous minister had really been saying. So that was a very good start."

Suzuki said Baird wouldn't give him a straight answer when he asked him about whether Harper's agrees that global warming is taking place.

I met Mr. Harper before he was even a leader of the party. I happened to run into him while he was being interviewed in the Parliament Buildings," Suzuki said.

"At that time he was denying global warming was an issue, and he was saying then, this is years and years ago, there's no way that we can meet a target like Kyoto. It's too expensive. Well it's a hell of a lot more expensive now."

I'm somewhat surprised that Suzuki gives Baird credit for acknowledging global warming exists. I guess Suzuki is using relativism as a guide, but it does demonstrate just how ridiculous the debate has been to this point, that it's considered progress admitting reality. During the interview, it was noteworthy that Suzuki was generally impressed with the candor until the question turned to Harper. When Suzuki asked if Harper shared Baird's perspective, Baird was hesitant and "political".

CBC had an interview this morning with Preston Manning. I must say it was amazing to listen to Manning argue so aggressively for environmental sustainability. He actually sounded like Dion, endorsing carbon-trading and some level of "regulation". For a man who spent his career opposing the government, advocating free, unrelegated enterprise, it says alot that Manning is open to big brother intervening to make progress. Manning is touring Alberta to packed houses, so this message is important, he has credibility with the natives ;)

The one striking thing about Manning's position, it begged the question, what the hell is wrong with Harper? Here we have his mentor, who apparently has discussed his views with Harper, advocating aggressive actions and Harper still doesn't seem to get it. Polls show his base open to action, which makes the Harper approach all the more confounding. If Harper adopted Manning's views, he would have a popular advocate selling his plan to the one province he seems to be concerned about. Harper's whole approach makes less and less sense with each passing day.


Darren McEwen said...

They (Conservatives) will be all over this story but just wait.

If nothing new happens on the environment portfolio you can bet Suzuki will be MORE than willing to go back on Question Period in a few months and have a little chat with Craig Oliver.

Olaf said...


Manning is touring Alberta to packed houses, so this message is important, he has credibility with the natives

Does he ever. One of the reasons I was so disappointed he didn't run for Premier. I still don't understand why Harper hasn't attempted to bring Manning in as a special adviser in this capacity.

Steve V said...

Manning gives Harper all the political cover he needs to take on the oil patch in some capacity. I don't get it.

wayward son said...

Mr. Baird "I want you to understand, I'm not a flat Earther"

Baird better be careful with his reckless "The earth is round, global warming is real" type statements.

I am sure that a lot of Conservatives will accuse him of being a witch. Wonder how well he floats?

Olaf said...

I suspect that it has a lot to do with their political falling out, which resulted in both saying less than complimentary assessments of the other publicly. If Harper has the brains (and modesty) to reach out to Manning, it will say a lot for his growth and political maturity. As much as I may prefer Harper over other leaders, I'm not holding my breath.

Mike said...

FWIW, the idea of a tax break for positive environmental behavior has actually been an NDP policy for about 2 years.

So considering the sway the NDP holds at the moment, it might mean this policy becomes law...

Steve V said...


I just hope we see a stick, alongside the carrot.

wayward son said...

"FWIW, the idea of a tax break for positive environmental behavior has actually been an NDP policy for about 2 years."

But try bringing up the most effective idea along those lines, ie tax shifting (which has been green party policy forever) - increasing taxes on things we don't want (ie pollution, SUVs) and reducing taxes on things we do want (ie jobs, hybrid cars, renewable power) and be prepared for most a lot of NDPers to go bizerk.

I think that the NDP has been strong on the environment, but I still don't think that they go far enough.

Anonymous said...

Manning is a populist with politics in his blood. He listens to the peeps; Harpor is bought and paid for by Big Oil, an unconvincing economist who has little in political instincts but is bookish sly when it comes to working the machinery. He is a Rovian, where as Manning is a Reaganite.
Oh and can't you just wait for Harpor's epiphany, where he talks about the poorly-run Liberal programs and then offers some kind of Con-lite version aka their daycare apparatus?