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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FELDSTED – The issue before the Supreme Court was one of jurisdiction -- it should have been about the arbitrary implementation of taxation laws


I am working my way through the Supreme Court decision on the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) and am dismayed by the Court’s bland acceptance that Canada is facing an existential threat to human life. Four hundred pages take time to read and digest. My initial reaction is below.  


Our federal government is not tasked with configuring Canada to ward off unproven theories on global warming. The threat is not existential; the plan to combat global warming is.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consists of 195 members, of which about 25% are true democracies. The original Kyoto Accord was a blatant attempt to shift large amounts of capital from industrialized nations to have-not nations. For many reasons, the Accord failed.

There is no peer-reviewed, validated science to link industrialized nations and global warming or climate change. The Michael Mann models and projections were discredited, and the IPCC response has been to ignore this embarrassment.

Climate change is not an existential threat. Our climate has been evolving for all of recorded history. We go through long-term heating and cooling cycles. The IPCC took a fragment of that experience, distorted the data and predicted dramatic changes that have not taken place over the past three decades.

There is no analysis of the cost-benefit to Canada and Canadians. No matter what the IPCC holds forth, our federal government is obliged to conduct an ongoing study of the effects of reducing carbon emissions on Canada.

The GGPPA was made law in 2018. COVID-19 has had a highly destructive effect on our economy. Factors in play in 2018 are very different today. Carbon taxing will hurt our economic recovery, which is not acceptable.

The IPCC Paris Accord involves having some industrialized nations reducing carbon emissions for the benefit of all. That is a spurious approach as carbon emissions are not confined to the borders of emitting countries. Emissions from China and India affect Canada’s air, land and water quality, and we are powerless to stop that.

No matter how punishing the federal carbon pricing scheme is, the federal government cannot ensure that Canadians will not suffer the effects of climate change.

The federal government seized the authority to impose carbon taxes on Canadians without first proving that such a tax is needed or that such a tax is in the best long-term interests of Canada and Canadians. That is not democratic governance.

The issue before the Supreme Court was one of jurisdiction. It should have been about the arbitrary implementation of taxation laws without federal accountability, openness and transparency.

We don’t face a threat from carbon because our government says so. Without carbon, there will be no life on this planet.

Government regulation of carbon emissions is a far greater threat to life on our planet than climate change will ever be.

 

John Feldsted … is a political commentator, consultant, and strategist. He makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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