How many times do we have to say it? Politics makes strange bedfellows.
Take last Friday as yet another example. Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, takes the stage at a Calgary rally with Jason Kenney, Alberta’s United Conservative Party leader, united in a new political bromance, showing the usual signs of life-long friends.
You would think the Argos had finally let the Stampeders beat them in a Grey Cup.
Historically, the two provinces have been enemies. Ontario and its capital are home to the Big Banks that have foreclosed on many a farm. The country’s biggest province holds the lion’s share of seats in the House of Commons and usually props up the dreaded Liberal party and its focus on handing out gifts to Quebec. And any time Ralph Klein needed a boost in the polls, the Alberta premier blasted the eastern bums.
Or so goes the usual narrative. (Truth be told, significant numbers of Albertans have roots in Ontario, but why spoil a good setup.)
In reality the new alliance is based on a singular idea: defeat or repeal the carbon tax wherever its ugly head arises.
Kenney calls it the equivalent of a sin tax on cigarettes and alcohol. Heating your home and driving your vehicle is the new vice, he says.
Ford calls it the job destroyer and the “worst tax ever.”
OK, we get the message. No one likes a new tax, especially one that taxes the use of a province’s major product.
We also know clever politicians know how to ride an issue all the way to the ballot box. Then what? What is the plan to actually deal with climate change?
By coincidence, days after the rally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted dire consequences if we can’t stop planet Earth from warming up just 1.5 C. Droughts, rising sea levels, storms and destroyed eco-systems are all predicted if we don’t act quickly.
The UCP has not yet released any policy on the environment other than it “is committed to developing environmental policy and legislation based on robust, scientific, evidence-based information, that safeguards the quality of our land, air, and water for the health, use and enjoyment of Albertans, for generations to come.” It remains to be seen what that policy is.
All we know from Kenney are comments he has made about returning to some form of charge on industrial emitters. But that is a tax, too; a hidden tax that eventually hits the …read more