February 16 – Letters to the editor

Opinions and ideas from around the area, emailed to us and shared with you.

Response to voter’s guide to carbon tax

Mr. Fletcher’s “Voter’s Guide to Carbon Tax” seem more a disjointed rant than a useful guide.  A real guide would have followed a logical progression such as:

-Is climate change a real threat?

-What is the major contributing factor for that change?

-If CO2 emissions are the main cause, then what are the most effective ways to reduce  those emissions?

The main purpose of a carbon tax is to put a price on the very thing responsible for climate change.  With that price, it is hoped that citizen and corporate consumption behavior will change in favour of lower carbon emission solutions such as increased efficiency or trading in your V8 car for a compact or hybrid.

Currently, B.C. is not on track to meet their emission reduction targets.  Mr. Fletcher does not offer an alternate way of reaching those targets.  In his comment about India and China, Mr. Fletcher failed to mention that China is the world leader in the development and installation of solar technology.

We all know that political parties change their platform; sometimes due to new information, or needing to jump out in front of where they think the electorate is heading.  None of us is forever locked in to opinions we may have had in an earlier life – knowledge can do wonderful things.

One of Mr. Fletcher’s last comments has me puzzled – what is an “American-financed protest industry”?  Perhaps Mr. Fletcher would provide a follow-up, footnoted article where he can more fully explain such terms.

Ron Robinson

Nelson, B.C.

 

Response to Tom Fletcher’s Voter’s Guide to Carbon Taxes.

Tom begins his opinion piece with some objective information describing where each of the major parties in B.C. currently sits with respect to carbon taxes.

It’s too bad he quickly loses that objectivity in the last few paragraphs.

He descends into partisan politics, inaccurate statements [e.g. he suggests human-generated CO2 is not a main driver of climate change] and misinformation [e.g. he suggests carbon pollution does not exists. Of course it does when there is too much CO2, methane, black carbon etc.].

Mike Geisler

Bonnington, B.C.

 

T-Bone, not the steak

Dear Ministry of Transportation,

On Sunday afternoon I was almost t-boned while turning onto the highway from 7-11. The highway light turned red, mine turned green. I cautiously entered the intersection (snowstorms have made for high snowbanks) when I noticed a large black truck speeding through the red light directly towards me.

The driver was easily going 80 km/hour. He didn’t stop for the red light. I slammed on my breaks, flipped him the bird, wailed on my horn (road rage Jesse). I was shaken up. He didn’t stop.

While largely the irresponsible driver’s fault for almost causing what could have been a very devastating accident, the lack of a two-second delay between light changes contributes to similar situations like this at this intersection all the time. People think they have time to run a red light.

There needs to be an adjustment to these lights, please. This would reduce the risk of collisions. I’m no expert, but even a few seconds might save someone’s life. Surely, that’s incentive enough.

Jesse Bell

Fernie, B.C.

 

Trumpitis

A highly infectious disease has spread from Washington DC to Victoria B.C.

Trumpitis is a  particularly virulent form of political swamp fever which President Trump promised to eradicate by ‘draining the swamp.’ Instead it has reached epidemic proportions, originating with the president himself who, it seems, has suffered from it all his life.

Its characteristic symptom is an inability to tell the truth.

Although it appears that Premier Clark has only recently been infected, she actually showed symptoms of it as far back as February14, 2001 when she stated on TV’s ‘Voice of the Province’,  “We are not planning layoffs in the public service.”

That was a lie. Between May 2001 and May 2005, Ms. Clark supported legislation which slashed 8,700 public service jobs, particularly in resource development, and in forestry and rangeland supervision.

It was thought that her swamp fever had gone into remission, but she recently suffered a relapse over questionable political advertising, and all the symptoms of the ailment have reappeared.

On February 8, for instance she stated to Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughan Palmer, “We saw the NDP hack into our website the other day.” That was a lie, and when asked by Palmer for empirical evidence to support her accusation, she could produce none.

She also stated that Mike Smyth’s column in the Vancouver Province had broken the news about the fictional hacking. That was also a lie.

When pushed by Smyth, she stated that, “When the NDP were talking about it, they went right to the edge of saying that’s what they’ve done.” And that was the biggest lie of all.

Kootenay East MLA Bennett said recently that the upcoming campaign will be “the ugliest we’ve ever seen.”

Mr. Bennett announced his resignation some time ago.

Perhaps he felt that even his robust political constitution would offer no protection against the infectious malady to which British Columbia’s premier has fallen victim.

JC Vallance

Fernie, B.C.

 

Christy Clark – Fake News

Quite the “fake news” story Christy Clark tried to peddle last week when she wrongly accused John Horgan and the NDP of hacking their Liberal web site.

It’s typical of Clark and the BC Liberals to try dodging a bad news story i.e. last Monday’s Child Welfare Watchdog report on the death of Alex Gervais (a child in care) but, surely B.C. voters will view this blatant “fake news” tactic as going much too far!

Without even a shred of evidence to implicate the NDP, Clark decided to smear the NDP with the hacking allegation. Then as it turns out, it was their own Liberal staff who had failed to protect, what should have been, the private information on their web site.

During the 2013 provincial election campaign Clark fabricated the notion that LNG would create huge prosperity, if only the Liberals were re-elected. That too turned out to be “fake news”.

Hopefully in the upcoming provincial election, B.C. voters will be more attuned with the blatant lack of credibility of Christy Clark and the BC Liberal Party.

Gary Werk

Cranbrook, B.C.

 

B.C. Views – Tom Fletcher

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan has set out his vision for B.C.’s carbon tax, now that the party finds itself able to advocate the measure it once bitterly opposed.

Here’s a quote from the NDP’s 2009 election platform, under leader Carole James: “Gordon Campbell’s plan increases taxes for average families by tripling the gas tax. And Campbell’s top advisor says it has to increase to 24 cents on every litre of gas.”

Since Campbell’s former finance minister Carole Taylor introduced it, it did indeed triple, to $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions, where it has stayed since Christy Clark became premier. That translates to about seven cents on a litre of gasoline.

Then last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decreed that the “carbon price” shall be raised nation-wide, $10 each year to $50 a tonne, by 2022. That’s 12 cents on a litre of gasoline. If provinces don’t do it by carbon tax or emissions trading, Trudeau will attempt to force it on them.

Clark’s intention is to wait until 2021, when other provinces have caught up to B.C., then raise it in two $10 increments. Horgan proposes to do it in three stages.

Clark has pledged that it will remain revenue neutral, with proceeds returned mainly via reduced personal, small business and corporate income tax rates, a northern and rural homeowner benefit of up to $200 a year, a seniors’ home renovation tax credit and a few other breaks.

These tax breaks are real, despite what people may say down at your local coffee shop. The first two provincial income tax brackets are currently reduced by five per cent, and the province expects to pay out $83 million this year in northern and rural credits.

Reductions to the general corporate income tax rate are budgeted to total $236 million this year. That’s a target for Horgan, judging by his rhetoric about the current system benefiting Clark’s “corporate backers.”

Horgan also wants to spend some of the proceeds of future carbon tax increases on energy efficiency, transit and so forth. He promises to leave the personal income tax reductions alone.

Green Party leader Andrew Weaver looks like your best choice to impose that 24-cents-a-litre tax that the NDP warned us about eight years ago. That’s a rate that would actually force more people onto bikes and buses. Other than that, Weaver’s main focus these days is to kill B.C.’s natural gas industry.

Horgan’s reluctant conversion to climate warrior is now complete. He has adopted the term “carbon pollution,” which is, to be polite about it, a false description that defies even high-school science about the basis of all life on Earth.

He is right, however, that B.C.’s emissions continue to rise as population and the economy grow.

And here’s the bottom line, B.C. voters. Even if you accept the propaganda that human-generated CO2 is suddenly the sole driver of climate change, when you look at a global context, none of this Canadian posturing matters a damn bit.

Barack Obama’s great Paris climate deal with China and India allows them to continue ramping up emissions until at least 2030. Donald Trump will soon pull the U.S. out of the toothless Paris accord and end Obama’s “war on coal.” So that’s the world’s top three greenhouse gas emitters out.

Your choices for May 9 are: the BC Liberal status quo, the NDP embarking on a state-directed infrastructure program funded by you, or the Green Party’s vision to keep our carbon fuels in the ground, as our American-financed protest industry keeps demanding.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca Twitter: @tomfletcherbc

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