Climate Change

As a lifelong conservationist and naturalist a commitment to the environment in my business dealings was a logical extension.

Before Nova Scotia adopted a regulated recycling program, my business delivered cardboard to a private company located at our local landfill site. Because of the early state of recycling, that business often experienced the inability to locate a recycler equipped to handle the product. That necessitated our building a structure to hold it until a processor could be found, rather than disposing of it in the landfill, as most businesses did at the time. Over decades my business resisted moving from aluminum cans to plastic bottles in our product line only to find Pepsico recently announcing they would be transitioning away from plastic bottles to more aluminum can packaging. Some time before the current federal Liberal government announced they would be phasing out single use plastic in future, we eliminated plastic straws. Perhaps most ironically, in a nod to symbolism, we received a call from Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s campaign office in New Glasgow during her first run in a federal general election to make a delivery in our Smart car for a photo op.

For a number of years now I have been a shareholder and director of a local windmill company in Central Nova, assisting in its transition from a fledgling holding company into a multi- million dollar enterprise that has erected six windmills.

Recently I ran into a local Green Party supporter wearing a T-shirt with their slogan, “You’re greener than you think”. In my case I am greener than they think, or they would lead you to believe, but the slogan is a fitting description of all residents of Central Nova and indeed Nova Scotia.

The province is a Canadian leader in waste reduction and recycling, along with being a leader in setting aside protected areas. Both these measures cost taxpayers, but it doesn’t end there. Many Central Nova residents don’t know that without the Provinces now expired Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) program most of the windmills in the riding and province would never have been erected. That program requires power customers to pay a subsidized rate to windmill owners for a twenty year period. There’s more. They are also paying for the undersea cable between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to bring hydroelectric power from the new Muskrat Falls project In Labrador.

These steps were all taken independent of federal Liberal government coercion with the result that the dreaded carbon tax is almost nonexistent in this province. None of these steps involved the costly expansion of the bureaucracy for tax collection and redistribution the carbon tax brings. A tax based on the premise of encouraging particular behaviours rather than taking concrete steps like successive governments of Nova Scotia have. That is why the People’s Party of Canada favors voluntary measures provincially generated and tailored to their specific problems and fiscal means to correct them.

Despite the fact that the carbon tax is the flagship of Liberal environmental policy, they have placed a cap, until 2020, on what they view as the requirement to reach their own target. A cap that repeats the old pattern of masking your intentions until after you are elected. The Conservatives position would be best described as a plan without a plan. Neither parties measures will match the Paris Accord levels they have pledged to meet.The Green Party policy the “Pact for a new Green Deal”, borrowed from United States legislators, envisions actions similar to World War Two’s mobilization of resources. A choice between austerity that only survivors of that period would fully understand or debt levels that will push us towards that austerity.The NDP’s policy varies from the Greens only in extremes.

The People’s Party of Canada is the only party that does not attempt to hide the fact that the Paris Accord’s targets will not be met.The notion of an urgent, immediate, conversion to non-existent or fledgling green technologies leaves the cart before the horse with taxpayers pushing both into an unknown future. Rather than look to Ottawa for “solutions” voters in Central Nova would be better served looking to their own province.

In regards to a carbon tax, it is reasonable for taxpayers to expect taxes collected to be allocated to the issue they were collected for. They should safely presume that when Central Nova’s current Liberal MP Sean Fraser announces $121,600 in funds for New Glasgow to hire a “climate change specialist” that those funds would be derived from the carbon tax. Realistically “climate change” issues in the town should revolve around the East River exceeding the boundaries of its banks in the small area around Glasgow Square and across the river in the same vicinity or the inability to quickly drain the rivers watershed into the river requiring larger drainage pipes. Those design issues should be well within the capabilities of the town engineer. Power ratepayers kicking in to subsidize windmills and an underwater cable are one thing but a carbon tax, for who knows what, is another.

Al Muir
People’s Party of Canada Candidate – Central Nova

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