Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THE Green Shift "Envi-nomic" Plan

"Envi-nomics": WesternGrit's dictionary defines this as the landmark federal Liberal plan to blend environmental accountability and responsibility with economic stewardship of the Country...

While it is great to hear the positive reviews of the landmark "The Green Shift" Liberal environmental/economic strategy, we do have to be ready for the attacks the Cons will be attempting over the next few months. The one argument Conservatives will be throwing at Canadians is the exact costs to them - based on the Plan's proscribed formulas.

There is ONE HUGE ITEM critics fail to mention when attacking the plan: What is the effect - beyond immediate financial - on consumers? Sure, you can argue that there MAY be small price hikes at the pumps, home heating, etc.... but what about the numerous benefits?

There are 2 very key points that don't get covered by the plan - but I see daily here in BC:

1) Numerous value-added industries will spring up in Canada, toting high-paying jobs, and massive export potential - based on the "green industry". A government focused on being "green" will add more credibility, and more "sell-ability" to a burgeoning "green sector" in Canada.

2) The unwritten GUARANTEE THAT CANADIANS WILL SAVE AT THE PUMPS. How, you ask? It's already happening here in BC, and in many big urban centers - but will spread across Canada... Canadians WILL buy more fuel efficient cars in their next new car purchase. I see it daily here in the Lower Mainland: SUVs, Humvees, and V8 cars are just not selling. The family that spent close to $1000/month with their 3/4 ton pickup are making do with a small or mid-sized pickup and halfing fuel bills. I could have purchased/leased a full-sized pickup for my business, but settled for a smaller Toyota model - which can get over 30 mpg on the highway (not bad for a pickup). By doing this alone I calculate that I'm saving $300 to $500 PER MONTH. We'll also all opt for more energy-saving appliances, and home-heating.

- THIS is the intended spin-off of such policy. BC has a carbon tax kicking in next month. Sure, I'll save around $400/year with the "green shift plan", but I plan to save EVEN more by buying more "efficiently". My next car will get the government credit AND get 40 mpg or more.

"The Green Shift" will actually help Canadians save hundreds of dollars a month - because we literally will want to. I see many contractors driving smaller Dakotas, Colorados, Tacomas, and Frontiers, rather than their gas-sucking cousins. A home builder friend of mine actually drives a Smart Car. He says that most of the time he needs a few tools, and has to run from site to site with paperwork. He parks his dually Dodge diesel for when he needs to tow his "garbage trailer". He did it because of the rising fuel prices in BC, and the pending carbon tax.

A serious debate IS needed on the plan - because Canadians need to see the change in thinking that is required by many of us to make this world a better place in which to live... A serious debate IS needed so we can discuss "spin-offs" like the ones mentioned above. A serious debate IS needed because Canadians deserve honest and open government.


Kevin said...

Envy-nomics is right. The base is envious of the success of the west and so has come up with a plan to even out the playing field by making them poorer too. The politics of envy for sure.

WesternGrit said...

A nation is about sharing. Back in the 20's, 30's, and 40's, when Alberta and Sask were among the poorest parts of Canada - and the Western world (people living in sod homes - like the mud huts in Africa, using oxen to turn sod and work fields, and walking to school barefoot), Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic kept these provinces alive - literally. Eastern money built the railway, which was the biggest thing to ever happen in the West - before oil. Eastern money paid for the NWMP/RCMP who "tamed" the West - or displaced the First Nations - depending on how you look at it. Eastern money built the TCH. Eastern money basically created the West. It's pretty pretentious to say that the "West" (namely AB, and Sask) are somehow unfairly being asked to contribute to Confederation.

If we don't want to be a country, let's just break up the country into 10 pieces (that's what hardcore Conservatives want anyways)? Better yet, let's take it further, and emphasize the urban/rural split, by splitting each province between urban and rural. Yeah... that's the ticket. Urban and rural areas in the provinces are as different from each other as some provinces are from one another.

The politics of division is easy. It doesn't take skill, talent, or great genius to take an "all or none", "us vs. them", "everything's black or white" approach, and advocate tearing everything apart to have our way. It takes more skill, caring, and diplomacy to work together with other groups, provinces, or nations.

WesternGrit said...

... I might add, the equalization formulas do need some "re-jigging" due to changes of "have" and "have-not" provinces in the past few years. There is a need for a strong federal government to create a balanced environment socially, politically, economically, medically, and environmentally - across the land.

We do need to put money into regions which need development - especially in this age of climate change, where we will need to see dramatic changes in the way we manage our infrastructure. This infrastructure will also be built by the provinces.

Currently one of the richest provinces (Alberta) has been negligent to the point of lunacy in not building up infrastructure (rail, transit, highways, social service safety net, healthcare, schools) in good times. Future development in Alberta will suffer when oil is no longer as important commodity as it has been in recent years.

The provinces have to work with the Feds to ensure that particular projects take place across Canada. This could be TCH twinning, high-speed rail lines, passenger rail lines, development of Northern ports, etc.

No province can "go it alone" - no matter what zealots think.

Frankly Canadian said...

Bang on westernGrit, lets not forget what it took to build this great nation "Canada" and what will be needed in the near or immediate future to continue the growth of our country.

Frankly Canadian said...

Bang on westerngrit, lets not forget what it took to build this great nation "Canada" and what will be needed in the future to continue our growth