The new carbon tax plan introduced by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is being debated intensely. Some critics have already called it a slush fund.
On paper, Notley claims it’s an effort to reign in the massive amount of pollution Alberta’s coal-fired power plants generate, likely based on reports from groups such as the Pembina Institute which claims coal power plants cost $300 million in health costs annually just in Alberta. The Pembina Institute is a left-leaning special interest group that traditionally allies itself with the same groups the current NDP government does. Realistically, estimates state the coal industry in the country generates about $5 billion, the vast majority in western Canada.
As an aside, a study found a couple of years ago that SUVs in Ontario actually generate more greenhouse gas every year, for example, than the oil sands in Alberta. But Notley’s carbon tax isn’t about facts, science or realism. This is about politics, public perception and marketing strategy.
Because of a number of Hollywood celebrities who love to get their faces in front of cameras and some environmental lobbyists who, regardless of facts, have their own agenda to keep, the Alberta government is making the first move toward giving the province a “clean energy” reputation. The government gives the impression the coal tax is being brought in to eliminate filthy technology and make Alberta a better place to live and do work. That’s possible.
There’re other possibilities, however. One possibility is that the carbon tax is being brought in to make American celebrities happy and cater to special interest groups like the Pembina Institute. This may help lessen or even eliminate Alberta’s “dirty energy” reputation that has actually been fostered south of the border by celebrities such as Neil Young and U.S. President Barack Obama, who called the oil sands “extraordinarily dirty.” Once the public perception has been changed, the possibility goes, then Alberta pipeline projects to the Gulf of Mexico wouldn’t face as much opposition in the U.S. and truckloads of money will start flowing into Alberta.
Hopefully, that’s exactly what happens.
Critics have also pointed out the carbon tax will likely costs an average family almost $600 more a year. By the way, municipalities and corporations hit by the carbon tax won’t “absorb” it. They’ll pass it on as hikes to you, your neighbour and everyone else in Alberta.
Readers love the funnies page
Regular readers of the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer may have noticed some regular features aren’t appearing with as much frequency as some would like.
The regular funnies page, complete with cartoons and the very popular seek-a-word, along with the community calendar, have been held back from publication on occasion in order to make room for paid advertisements. The Pipestone Flyer understands how much love readers have for these features.
The community calendar is a free service that the Pipestone Flyer offers to help non-profit and community groups, and the Pipestone Flyer plans to continue this feature, but no guarantee is made that it will or will not run. If groups want to ensure their community event is publicized, paid advertising is available.
The Pipestone Flyer is currently seeking a sponsor for the funnies page, which will help it run with more regularity.
Since both pages are currently printed for free by the Pipestone Flyer, the space they take up will be made available for advertisers when required.
The Pipestone Flyer asks its valued readers to be patient when such decisions have to be made.