Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Conservatives' opposition to any mention of carbon tax is laughable

Maybe I'm obsessing, but I do worry about Pierre Poilievre and his Trumpian hold over the Conservative Party of Canada (and his almost Trumpian laser-like will and lack of common morality - although he's not quite in Trump's league, yet).

I can't believe that the whole of the Conservative caucus would vote against a modernized free-trade deal with Ukraine unless Poilievre was at the helm with an aggressive whip. And, like the American Republicans, no-one dare opposed Poilievre's iron will, even when it makes no sense (as it increasingly does not).

So, when a Liberal bill to update the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement came together floor, the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois all voted for it. ALL the Conservatives voted against it. And the reason? For some logic not entirely clear, Pierre Poilievre and others are convinced that the bill has some nefarious provision in it that would force Ukraine to adopt a carbon tax, and that for Poilievre is a dealbreaker, of course. That, and he is opposed to anything the Liberals might propose, on principle.

Now, if Poilievre had done a little homework - and it has been repeatedly pointed out to him - there is actually nothing in the bill that forces Ukraine to have a carbon tax, as even the Ukrainians agree. Oh and, by the way, Ukraine already has a carbon tax anyway, and has had since way longer than Canada.

As Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer explains it, for those of us who just don't understand, the very fact that the bill even MENTIONS a carbon tax "is not something we can support". That's how much they don't like carbon taxes. The bill actually says that the two countries will cooperate to "promote carbon pricing and measures to mitigate carbon leakage risks", something that Ukraine is entirely on board with anyway.

The bill passed easily, although with no help from the Conservatives. Their dogged opposition to this kind of language risks making them a laughing stock, though, if they are not already. But, wait ... why should I care?

No comments: