Gudie Hutchings, Liberal Minister for Rural Economic Development, comments surrounding Trudeau’s carbon tax reversal sparks controversy and questions about priorities. Photo Credit: Twitter/ctvqp
Just in case anyone thought the Liberals were really concerned about climate change and in full support of all their many absurdly punitive so-called climate policies which ensure low- and middle-income Canadians suffer the most – never mind! Late last week Trudeau announced that votes for Liberals were actually the priority, as he took the carbon tax off of home heating oil for three years and boosted rebates for rural residents. Although the Liberals claimed they wanted to give people more time to adjust to new means of heating their home that generated fewer carbon emissions, everyone knew the flip-flop was entirely a result of Liberal polls tanking in Atlantic Canada, where the highest proportion of residents still use heating oil and the Liberals still hold a goodly number of seats.
Trudeau might as well have said “I’ve been lying to Canadians for the past 8 years.” Remember how we were told the carbon tax gave most people back more money in rebates than they paid in tax? Apparently not, as now they have to remove the tax because it is hurting Atlantic Canadians so much. Remember how the environment and the economy go hand in hand? Whoops – guess not, as the carbon tax is contributing to the elevated inflation numbers that are weighing so heavily on our economy.
The fact that Canada’s emissions have not been reduced also has made Canadians wonder why so much pain for virtually no gain? Liberals have lied about the carbon tax from the get-go, when then-Environment Minister Catherine McKenna promised the tax would never exceed $50 per tonne, yet it’s now supposed to climb up to $170 per tonne by 2030. Last week’s announcement just multiplied the lies and showed what a craven government these Liberals operate.
To add insult to injury, the jig was clearly up when Gudie Hutchings, Liberal Minister for Rural Economic Development said in a media interview that if the Prairies want their views considered by the federal government, maybe they should elect more Liberals. Sorry Gudie, but that’s not how democracy is supposed to work, despite the fact that it’s pretty clear that’s how this Liberal government has operated for the last 8 years.
Governments of all political stripes care about votes, yet some can still maintain a sense of what policies are right or wrong for the country and not consider pandering only to votes as their principal concern. These Liberals have basically just conceded that one of their signature policies – climate change – isn’t really all that important if votes will be lost. This completely undermines what they’ve been saying for their entire term of government. One can only assume that Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is furious, given his single-minded pursuit of extreme climate issues no matter how much his policies hurt Canadians. It was likely no accident that Guilbeault’s social media accounts were dead after the announcement was made.
In addition, making this policy change in only one part of the country is profoundly unfair to all Canadians living elsewhere. Data indicate that many Canadians are struggling to keep their financial heads above water given inflation, high tax levels and a deteriorating economy. People outside of Atlantic Canada deserve a tax break as well. Even if we take Minister Hutchings at her undemocratic word, people in Ontario vote Liberal – where is their tax holiday? Minister Hutchings had no good answer to that question. Many analysts consider this recent faux pas by the Trudeau Liberals as a sign the carbon tax is effectively dead, and bravo to that.
On another current topic of major concern, the Liberals’ tepid reaction to the horrible turmoil in the Middle East also demonstrates their prioritizing of votes over doing the right thing. It has been difficult to miss the rash of so-called pro-Palestinian protests and events held in Canada, virtually all of which have included calls for Israel’s eradication and support for Hamas terrorists. The Liberals have been tying themselves in knots to mildly oppose anti-Semitism while not being forthright enough to alienate the Muslim and leftist vote. The horrific events of October 7 are cheered at these rallies. It defies belief that such things would be tolerated in Canada.
Most Canadians are likely not aware that these celebrations of hate would not be permitted if Trudeau had not reversed a measure favoured by the Conservative government of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harper wanted to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encouraged boycotts of Israel back in early 2015, when the so-called BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) promotions were on the rise. For a short period of time, the “glorification of terror” was a criminal offense in Canada. If those laws were in place today, law enforcement would have reasonable cause to prohibit the pro-Hamas, pro-terror rallies that are taking place. Harper wasn’t concerned about votes lost, but he knew it was the right thing to do.
Former Liberal governments have been more concerned about doing the right thing than the current incumbents. For example, the Chretien/Martin Liberals cut government spending quite dramatically in the mid-1990s, when Canada was in dire financial shape, even though it wasn’t a popular choice. The fact that the current Liberals continue to prove that they effectively stand for nothing as long as it doesn’t disrupt their voter base is a key reason we are not taken seriously on the world stage. It is also why most Canadians are anxious for a change in government.
She has published numerous articles in journals, magazines & other media on issues such as free trade, finance, entrepreneurship & women business owners. Ms. Swift is a past President of the Empire Club of Canada, a former Director of the CD Howe Institute, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, past President of the International Small Business Congress and current Director of the Fraser Institute. She was cited in 2003 & 2012 as one of the most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network & is a recipient of the Queen’s Silver & Gold Jubilee medals.