Ontario PC Party Head: A “Sensible” Carbon Price Is In The Offing

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Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown recently made the comment that his party will be proposing a “sensible” carbon emissions pricing plan — one that will be “revenue neutral” for the government — at the annual party meeting in Ontario.

The comment was intended to create a distinction between the yet-to-be-revealed PC party plan and Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cap and trade plan — which will increase average household heating gas bills by ~$5/month, and increase gasoline prices by around 4.3¢/liter, reportedly.

“Sensible carbon pricing doesn’t have to be a contribution in terms. But it cannot be a cash grab,” was the way that Brown put it. Earlier when referencing climate change, Brown noted: “We have to do something about it.”

Ontario flag

Brown later commented to reporters that when he had earlier briefed his MPPs about the stance that he got “practically universal” support for it.

The Star provides more:

Although Brown did not detail how his plan would work as the party begins deliberations on an election platform for 2018 and freshens its face with a new logo, he promised a carbon tax that is “revenue neutral” to the government and will come with “corresponding tax cuts for individuals and businesses.”

Promoting himself as a “pragmatic” Progressive Conservative, Brown said the Liberals, who have trounced his party in four elections since 2003, are not expecting a more nimble and canny rival than in years past, when Tory campaigns were scuppered by ideas that flopped.

“There is one thing that Kathleen Wynne fears more than anything else: a Progressive Conservative Party that has the courage to change,” he commented at the meeting.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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9 thoughts on “Ontario PC Party Head: A “Sensible” Carbon Price Is In The Offing

  • Since this will likely be missed by our readers, this is very politically significant. The Ontario PC party has traditionally been just this side of climate change denial.

    To turn around and propose a revenue neutral carbon pricing scheme is nearly an about face.

    • Revenue-neutral plus health-positive, climate-positive, job-positive and economy-positive.

      As cross party support grows for actions to really progress the transition away from fossil fuels there are numerous conservative friendly tools like this they can use to hasten it.

      • Yup, one that I would advocate for… Make the polluter pay, and give more tax breaks to the people trying to do the right thing, and suddenly, everyone is doing the right thing!

    • “Sensible Carbon Price” is that political speak for we have to do something now (don’t want to). SO lets do a very low carbon price and say we did all we could.

      • Yep. But the fact that the *right-wing* party has shifted its rhetorical ground and is also calling for carbon pricing is *huge*.

        (I don’t expect Wildrose in Alberta to do the same, sadly.)

      • If we had even an inexpensive price on carbon, in a market that actually worked, we’d be among the first in the world to have such, unless I’m mistaken. In any case, it’s still a huge step from their position even a few years ago.

        Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  • Worthwhile Canadian Initiative. (This was IIRC an entry in a competition for the most boring newspaper headline).

  • Burning a liter of petrol weighs around 737 grams and results in 2.3 liters of CO2, so if the carbon price is 4.3 cents a liter it would be around $32.70 or $24.40 US which would be an excellent start. It is high enough to change behaviors, encourage efficiency, encourage building renewable capacity, and cut fossil fuel use.

    Of course, what the world needs is, after a reasonably brief period of adjustment, a carbon price equal to the cost of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequestering it, which might be done for $70 Canadian a tonne, though that is one of the most optimistic estimates.

  • Sure, tax carbon and give it back to the poor. It will likely have no significant effect on fossil fuel use, have tremendous administrative costs, and in a year or two the government will decide to dump the income into general revenue.
    Well, it will redistribute wealth a bit and create a bunch of civil service jobs. But that is good for an economy,right, Create jobs without increasing productivity.
    It would make more sense to raise the tax on gasoline. Or you could apply extra taxes on houses over 500 sq.ft. per person. Those would be true polluter pay. You could create incentives for more energy efficient housing and for more efficient transportation with the income.
    Increasing the cost to use fossil fuel will have practically no influence on the 10 percent and little influence on the middle class. Giving the money back to the poor means little, but to give them the opportunity to increase income by using less fuel. How do they accomplish that? They are only using what they can pay for now.

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