OTTAWA (17 October 2012) – “The carbon tax is the bad idea that keeps coming back,” states Leon Benoit, Member of Parliament for Vegreville-Wainwright. “In the 2011 election, Canadians rejected the higher carbon taxes being proposed by the NDP and the Liberals. Yet the NDP’s new leader, Thomas Mulcair, is again proposing a job-killing carbon tax that he boasts ‘will produce billions.’”
Benoit alludes to University of Laval economist Stephen Gordon’s explanation that the “NDP is proposing a cap-and-trade model in which carbon is priced, their policy is essentially the same as a carbon tax.”
The facts are simple:
- Thomas Mulcair and the NDP support a job-killing carbon tax. Not only did the 2011 NDP Platform specifically state the NDP would “put a price on carbon” (pg. 12), but their costing document also showed plans to generate $21.5 billion in government revenue through this scheme over the course of four years (NDP costing tables, pg. 4). Without this revenue, their fiscal plan would have fallen apart. This revenue was the critical aspect of their plan. Just like Stéphane Dion’s Green Shift, the Mulcair plan will raise billions of dollars in new revenue for the government that is to be put towards new government spending.
- The NDP Carbon Tax would raise the price of everything Canadians buy – from gas, to groceries, to electricity. Respected economist, Jack Mintz, calculated that the $21 billion carbon price proposed in the NDP’s 2011 Platform would raise gas prices by as much as 10 cents a litre. (Financialpost.com, April 29, 2011) By raising the cost of producing and transporting food, a carbon tax will also increase grocery prices. And by increasing the cost of generating electricity – including from natural gas, oil, wood and coal – an NDP carbon tax would make it more expensive for Canadians to heat and power their homes.
- Thomas Mulcair has admitted that his plan will go even further than the NDP’s 2011 platform and has bragged that it will “produce billions” off the backs of hard-working Canadians.
- “Thomas Mulcair would propose a comprehensive cap-and-trade plan that would build on the popular proposal New Democrats campaigned on during the last election under the leadership of Jack Layton.” (Mulcair’s Leadership Platform)
- “Mulcair’s plan goes further than the cap-and-trade proposal advanced by the late NDP leader” (Canadian Press, Dec. 8, 2011)
- “I led the fight against corporate tax reductions the Conservatives brought in. And of course I have a cap-and-trade program that will produce billions. (Mulcair, Vancouver NDP Leadership Debate, Mar. 11, 2012)
- Many members of the NDP have expressed support for a carbon tax. The NDP House Leader, Nathan Cullen, stated, “I’m more of a cap-and-trade kind of guy. I think it’s a much more accurate assessment of full cost but, again, the point of the exercise is putting a price on carbon.” (The Uniter, Feb. 29, 2012) The NDP Member for Ottawa Centre, Paul Dewar, said, “Price on carbon. It makes sense.” (CBC Power and Politics, Oct. 3, 2011) And of course, Thomas Mulcair himself said, “A cap-and-trade system will provide a lot of revenue.” (NDP Leadership Debate, Dec. 4, 2011)
“Mulcair’s job-killing carbon tax would raise the price of everything, including gas, groceries and electricity,” concludes Benoit. “It would also make the Canadian economy less competitive and shift good jobs to the US and China. In today’s global economy not being competitive means Canada would lose jobs. Our Conservative Government is doing everything we can to keep the economy strong and increase the number of jobs – we will continue to oppose Mulcair’s attempts to kill jobs and raise taxes.”