Cleaning up the Planet, while saving face at a fee.

Cleaning up the Planet, while saving face at a fee.

Update 21st April, 2016

This opinion editorial is inspired by some of the best reporters, commentators and pundits in the Nation’s Capital. In particular note to my comments is Lorrie Goldstein’s article “Climate Hypocrisy in Paris United Nations will tell us to consume less.” (Sunday, November 22, 2015, Sun Media).

Furthermore the Ottawa Sun Comment piece entitled Wynne’s CARBON PRICING SCHEME GRABS OUR CASH (Editorial, Saturday, November 21, 2015)  and today’s Comment Prepare for HOT air (Editorial, Sunday, November 22, 2015) provides clarity to the effect that green house gas emissions targets set by previous Liberal and the Conservative government can not be met without radical effects on industry and the economy.

In one sense it seems the meeting of our Prime Minister with the premiers today at an “open kimono” pre-Paris meeting, November 30th, will clear the AIR on the matter of pollution, one of the world’s biggest problems causing climate change.

What we do know from the Minister of the Environment is that the Science is plain, the evidence is clear that pollution in the name of human activity is causing climate change. Perhaps the post-Paris meeting with the premiers could be held in BANFF during a CHINOOK to showcase rapid climate change or the Quebec Premier’s proclamation that their ranking in the matter of renewable energy is fourth in the world and Canada as whole ranked third, natural endowments of hydroelectricity considered.

Before flying off in another direction, Premier Couillard seems to be on the side that 70% of the Canadian Population lives in provinces that attach a “strong pricing signal” to CARBON through either a market or revenue neutral carbon tax. Hydro may be one thing but do the premiers individually represent the true picture of Canada’s Energy Sector?

Premier Notley of Alberta has launched her climate change strategy meaning carbon taxes in a rough order of magnitude will be imposed on emissions covering 90% of the economy in such areas as gasoline and home heating fuels. Those taxes in 2017 are proposed at 20% rising to 30% in a short time frame. Gas is estimated to go up and by 2018 the expected yield is $3 billion.

The disbursement of this tax, perhaps to fulfil election promises or presumed commitments will be a return of carbon taxes to middle and low-income families, as such approximately 60% or $1.8 million are slated to go there. The remaining carbon tax will be fed to “ease” the transition for those dependent on the COAL industry, oil sands production emission caps aside it seems.

Being from Ontario and Ottawa in particular, Premier Wynne on the matter of cutting Green House Gases proclaims that all the “low hanging fruit” has been collected. Vaguely put, it seems that infers energy development to combat climate change, but, what of the taxes, costs and effectiveness of those endeavours, gas plant scandals and tilting windmill contracts aside?

What surprises are on the way from our premier? The Ottawa Citizen’s City Column A5, November 21st by Chris Selley may give some insight. The critique of Dalton McGuinty’s Memoirs and long list of regrets speaks for itself. In general he preferred policy to politics, it seems.

He regretted that political leaders failed to tackle CLIMATE CHANGE, in general and in particular to implement carbon pricing which he believed spelled trouble for his signature “GREEN ENERGY PLAN” He also conceded that to move ahead alone could unfairly penalize Ontarian industries.

It seems in some sense that we will be paying more upfront for our human activities that are polluting our planet and causing the climate to change. The challenge for federal government it seems, as stated by the Minister of the Environment, is to develop grittier environmental standards where the job is to plan for and develop them with PUBLIC SUPPORT.

Will we be able to achieve this first step without sacrificing energy production, economic growth or increasing the burden of deficits on future generations, within a commitment of evidence-based policies.

Perhaps an honourable way to highlight success on the world stage would be to deliver a CHARTER of Climate Change Responsibilities. We seem to have the Charter freedom to human activity and consumption that is changing our climate and environment.

Of course, that would be a matter of academics, sciences and enterprise. Perhaps public management and or an audit culture of taxes, fees and levies would emerge. Simply put a culture of taxing, spending and redistribution in the face of secular human enterprise, where accountability often gets confused with accounting for our resources and our actions, it seems

We are blessed with a newly elected Government, a fine “Non-Partisan public service” and a very strong opposition. Our new Prime Minister needs all our help and support to get this right.

We have a history to consider as well when it comes to deficits and the current cupboard is bare, no scraps there according to the Treasury Board President. The Minister of Finance the risks for Canada are downside.

The First Deficit was created in by the Liberal Party of Canada. When Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s government was voted out for a short while in 1979, he conceded that the consequences of the “volatile” world oil market was why his Finance Minister resigned. Prices and Incomes Policies followed:

The Prime Minister quoted from Desiderata, Latin for DESIRED THINGS. It is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872–1945). He said when his government lost power; “No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” He could well have added the remainder of the line; Therefore, be at peace with GOD, whatever you conceive HIM to be.

We are blessed to have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms under God and the Rule of Law. The poem, on the other hand, is full of helpful prompters for human nature and activity. It is also a great way to save face.

Update, April 21, 2016: 

Ottawa Sun April, 21st 2016-Lorrie Goldstein – Trudeau knows climate deal’s A FRAUD

When Prime Minister Trudeau ceremoniously signs the UNITED NATION’s PARIS CLIMATE TREATY in New York April 22nd 2016, it will be the same farce that occurred when Prime Minister Jean Chretien signed the U.N.’s Kyoto Climate Treaty in 1998 […] Chretien knew Canada couldn’t achieve the Industrial Green House Gas Emissions targets he was agreeing to.

Trudeau will also throw BILLIONS of TAX DOLLARS at so called GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS that don’t actually reduce emissions and allow the provinces free rein on CARBON PRICING.


Kevin Murray-Mourne is a former Trade Commissioner for Space, Aerospace, Defence and Security with the Department of External Affairs and International Trade Canada. He is a Veteran of Her Majesty’s Armed forces. He attended the Canadian Centre for Management Development, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Institute and is a Graduate of the American Management Associations Management Program.

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