Will Liberals never learn?

About 100 days ago, Canada’s federal Liberals appeared to be making progress. They’d just dumped unpopular party leader Stephane Dion and replaced him with a slightly more charismatic egghead, Michael Ignatieff.

About 100 days ago, Canada’s federal Liberals appeared to be making progress.

They’d just dumped unpopular party leader Stephane Dion and replaced him with a slightly more charismatic egghead, Michael Ignatieff.

The party was wisely distancing itself from its failed carbon tax proposal and hoping to steal away some Conservative votes among the electorate as the economy worsened.

That was then, and now is now.

Now, though it flopped with voters during last fall’s federal election, the carbon tax is popping up among resolutions to be debated later this month at a Liberal convention.

That’s the case, even though recent opinion polls show support for costly environmental initiatives is falling among Canadians facing what may well be the worse economic recession in decades.

It makes one wonder if the Liberals have lost their minds.

According to The Canadian Press, “One resolution, proposed by the Quebec wing of the party, calls on a Liberal government to unconditionally commit to meeting the Kyoto Protocol targets, enacting legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would include ‘establishing a carbon tax, a cap and trade system or a combination of both.’ ”

Kyoto? Is there anyone in this country who still believes greenhouse gas targets associated with that agreement could possibly be reached in Canada without ruining our economy?

Another Grit proposal calls on a Liberal government to consider “all mechanisms of investment, incentive and taxation” to combat global warming and stimulate sustainable economic growth.

Uh-huh. How would that be financed? With higher taxes and more debt? Yikes!

Fortunately, for the Liberals, it’s possible they’ve now got a party leader who is smart enough to save them from themselves.

Though he was the first prominent Liberal to champion a carbon tax, Ignatieff has disavowed the concept since taking over the party.

Perhaps he realizes promoting a major tax grab during a severe economic downturn would be political suicide.

It’s telling that even Greenpeace recognizes the $600 for every man, woman and child in Alberta that Premier Ed Stelmach wants to spend on highly suspect carbon-capture technology is a complete waste of money.

The Vegreville farmer apparently thinks he can hoodwink the world into thinking there is no dirty oil coming out of the oilsands if he simply diverts the critics’ attention with an expensive green undertaking.

In the long run, such a public relations stunt is unlikely to work (just ask National Geographic magazine), and neither will the federal Liberals’ proposed carbon tax.

Not surprisingly, British Columbia New Democratic Party Leader Carole James is promising to kill B.C.’s carbon tax, which was announced in that province’s 2008 budget.

Voters, suffering as they are in the current recession, simply don’t want more taxes.

Stelmach may eventually learn that when and if he raises the education portion of property taxes here in Alberta.

As for the federal Liberals, their best hope is to put their faith in Iggy.

He once foolishly believed in a carbon tax, but today’s he’s a changed man.

He has learned his lesson, but can his party keep up with him?

Lee Giles is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Trump says ‘things are going very well’ with North Korea

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Saturday that “things are going very… Continue reading

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Trudeau fields questions at town hall meeting in St-Hyacinthe, Que.

SAINT-HYACINTHE, Que. — Ottawa’s decision to sign the UN compact for migration… Continue reading

Americans face deadline to file paperwork for Huawei executive’s extradition

OTTAWA — American authorities are facing a key deadline at the end… Continue reading

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Kriechmayr edges Swiss favourite Feuz to win WCup downhill

WENGEN, Switzerland — It takes a special run to beat Switzerland’s best… Continue reading

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read