Letter: Carbon tax misrepresented

I am amazed and shocked (and not only me) how much distortion of facts, half truths and outright lies about the Alberta’s NDP policies and actions we are bombarded with weekly in the provinces newspapers.

Carbon tax misrepresented

I am amazed and shocked (and not only me) how much distortion of facts, half truths and outright lies about the Alberta’s NDP policies and actions we are bombarded with weekly in the provinces newspapers. Every vocal right wing politician, from local MLA Ron Orr, to Brian Jean, Jason Kenney, Blaine Calkins, or right wing writers such as Lorne Gunter or Stu Salkeld have condemned the NDP implementing the carbon tax next January: ‘It is the wrong time in such poor economic times, more taxes for Albertans who are struggling’ etc.

The fact, however, is Rachel Notley doesn’t have a choice, as the federal environment minister and our PM have stated many times: if the provinces don’t implement the carbon tax it will be legislated federally. They signed the Paris climate change agreements, there will be no going back on that. The provinces have some choice on how they like to do it, but not if they are going to put a carbon levy in place.

It is always a good idea to do your own research, in this case the AB government site is an excellent source to find the truth and facts. Just one important point, those who have a net family income (two children) of $101,500 or less, or $100,000 or less for a couple is reimbursed come tax time, so no carbon tax for you. Frankly, everybody who makes more than that can contribute, as well as the corporations which can afford and should contribute their share, no question there.

B.C. has incorporated the carbon tax successfully since 2008, it hasn’t resulted in fewer jobs, the GHG’s have been greatly reduced and taxpayers are better off.

Like it or not Albertans the “Western world” has changed and many countries, such as the EU and the U.S. are more and more reluctant to import goods from countries/provinces who have not done their part with climate change.

There is nothing Rachel Notley or any Albertan for that matter can change about that!

Ilse Quick, Lacombe

When times get tough …

In the wee hours of the morning, Red Deer’s bottle picking community starts to work. You may not see them, but you may know they have been there as your local garbage bin or blue box is picked clean of bottles, cans and other refundable items.

There is, indeed, gold in those cans. Just how much you may be surprised.

In recent conversations with bottle pickers around the city, there are those who earn enough to buy a pack of smokes and buy breakfast up to those who earn as much as $2,200 per month! All of this is money above AISH, if the picker is on it, or EI as well.

However, the public attitude towards bottle pickers is quite varied. Many Red Deerians support these efforts to create an income by leaving bags of bottles outside. Some are ambivalent towards the pickers and ignore them as they drive/walk by. The entitled look with disdain and will verbally attack using words like ‘get a job,’ or ‘leave my bottles alone,’ and the toothless, “I’ll call the police on you!”

Not every bottle picker is created equal. There are those who walk the alleys and pick blue boxes.

There are those who crawl in and around garbage bins and pick apart every bag they can touch, and earn an average of $120 per day for their efforts.

There are those who brazenly walk into backyards and steal bottles and other items placed on decks and close to sheds.

(This is NOT what most pickers do and this behaviour casts a negative glow to a hard working group of individuals)

There are those who drive our highways and clean the ditches. Who are these people?

They may be AISH recipients trying to stabilize their income. They may be the unemployed struggling to make ends meet.

They may be the retired going out for walks with a bag just in case they find some ‘gold’. They may be the drug addict looking for money for their next hit.

However there are several folks I would like to make special note of.

The unnamed MS worker who drives the alleys gathers bottles to help the non-profit out. Kudos to you.

Larry, who walks the streets and alleys of Red Deer cleaning garbage while picking bottles. Thanks for your efforts.

Thanks to the great staff of Cosmos I and II, and the south bottle depot for your dedication and support.

The next time you see someone walking with a bag down an alley, strike up a conversation with them. You might be surprised who you meet and how you may be able to help with as little as the couple of empties in your back seat.

Tim Lasiuta, Red Deer