Conservative Party ‘Foolishness’ on Carbon is ‘Difficult to Overstate’
Comparing the former governing party to France’s Bourbons who, after years in exile, had “learned nothing and forgotten nothing,” Université Laval economist Stephen Gordon declares in the National Post that “the foolishness of the Conservative rhetoric” on placing a price on carbon emissions “is difficult to overstate.”
Whether in hope of winning a future election by campaigning against a carbon tax in “a caricature of unreasoning tax hatred,” or as a “wink” to climate skeptics, “the Conservatives are dismantling their credibility in economics” by continuing to oppose placing a national price on carbon, Gordon writes.
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In office until last year, the Conservative Party of Canada denounced the idea of a “job-killing carbon tax.” In Opposition, acting leader Rona Ambrose has continued to criticize carbon pricing, while former Conservative minister Jason Kenney has made opposition to a carbon price a central focus of his campaign to lead the party’s provincial wing, also recently rejected by voters.
Accepting the global need to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Gordon observes, “a party with a minimal understanding of market economics might be expected to campaign for the option that offered maximum effectiveness at minimum cost.”
Instead, out of “misplaced nostalgia or sheer spite—Conservatives are frittering away the remnants of their intellectual capital in economics.”
Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Canada’s premiers that he would set an “essential” national price on carbon emissions if they don’t.