By: Kevin Turko
Published: Oilfield Pulse
Both our federal and provincial governments are forcing us to change our ways as they continue to live large, while taxing us into living smaller. Of course I am referring to our beloved, and well hidden carbon tax gremlins. I always find it nothing but offensive when our ideological governments and the econ-activist friends in court are forcing taxes down our throats, while hypocritically refusing to lead by example themselves. I will believe climate change is a problem, when everyone that is telling me it is a problem truly changes their consumption habits and jetting around the world ways.
Premier Notley is leading by simply lecturing to us in her 2016 year-end press conference ...... "It's not just a question of having a more fuel efficient vehicle. It could sometimes be a question of taking a bus, walking, you know those kind of things." Great leaders lead by example! They earn trust and respect not by their words but by their actions. They've shown us it's relatively easy to impose a carbon tax through press conference words and government bills, but it is much more difficult to show Albertans how the NDP government is changing their ways to reduce their carbon footprint. How thave they, or how are they, planning to lower their own fossil fuel consumption and corresponding costs leading the way to a greener economy? Maybe this should be the subject for the next high dollar Climate 'Leadership' Plan video and marketing blitz! Leadership comes at a cost, but are the NDP really willing to pay the price in the carbon consumption trenches?
Now any article on carbon taxes wouldn't be complete without a jab or two at our jet setting Prime Minister. It seems like he's spent more time out of the country than in the country, and when he is in Canada he's regularly flying back and forth across our great nation. Maybe for the man at the top of this is a justifiable expense and a much needed part of the job. Perhaps Trudeau gets a pass here. But what about the rest of the federal government. How are they making do with less? Certainly hasn't been reflected in the size of government or ballooning national debt. But I'm sure Prime Minister Trudeau appreciates deep down that none of these carbon taxes impact him personally whatsoever. All of his gasoline for his motorcade and natural gas for heating his official residence is paid by us taxpayers. All of his travel costs, again are picked up by us taxpayers. Perhaps he can send an email to his trust fund accountants to write a cheque to the federal government for his own personal portion of carbon taxes. After all, I am sure we all believe he undoubtedly wants to lead by example, doesn't he? If you believe this, then you also have to believe his cheque is in the mail.
Enough of that, it's time to get back to reality. Unemployment is now over 10% in Calgary and our rates have been leading the nation for the past 5 months or so. Those that are still working are fortunate indeed, but at what cost? It's hard ot look in the mirror and call yourself lucky when you are now earning 50% to 60% less than what you were making pre-2014. Sure you can blame the lions share of this on the prolonged decline in oil and gas prices, but are we all being set up unknowingly for failure? Has the size of our provincial government increased or decreased during these dark economic day in Alberta? Not that I would wish this on any of my fellow Canadians, but have any of the wages in the public sector been cut since the energy geese that lay the golden eggs came down with a severe bout of revenue constipation? Government debt at all levels is spiralling out of control and the spin doctors are wanting us all to believe this is the new normal for decades to come.
In the midst of all this doom and gloom, we straddle our citizens with new carbon taxes, and for added comfort and security, with built in cost escalation clauses for years to come. How much has our government bureaucracy increased just to administer these carbon tax regiments across Canada? Do we really want to know? Hell yes! Will we ever truly find out? Hell no!
In my humble opinion very few in power and those who control the government purse strings are leading by example. Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan being the shining and notable exception! So as you throw on another sweater and turn down the heat, ponder this over a cup of hot chocolate while trying to keep warm. When our government officials start acting like we have a real problem by limiting their own consumption, changing their processes to cut costs impacted by carbon taxes, then and only then, will they convince all of their employers, us voters and taxpayers, that carbon dioxide is an actual problem.
Let's all learn form Ontario's experience going to renewables. Doing with less, appears to translate into energy poverty. Has the financial and climate leadership of Wynne's Liberal government resulted in the trust and respect of her people and that of the rest of Canada? You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It would appear we're all experiencing a lot of carbon tax insanity right now! When and how will the madness stop?