The federal Liberal government seemingly and inadvertently gave us a dose of honesty that they should be looking to walk back.
The Liberals recently announced home heating oil would be exempt from the carbon tax for the next three years. On the surface, this is a good thing. Canadians have been struggling with the rising cost of living for over two years now. Every little bit helps, right?
But then consider how prevalent home heating oil is in Atlantic Canada versus the rest of the country. Then factor in the decided edge the Liberals have had out east in the last three federal elections. Finally, the Liberals didn't extend a similar exemption to the west, where they have struggled to win seats, especially in the last two elections.
It's also worth noting that Rural Economic Development Minister Gudie Hutchings said, in a recent television interview, that perhaps people in the Prairies need to elect more Liberals so that peoples' voices in the west will be heard.
A rather absurd comment, especially for the minister for rural economic development.
We might complain about the Liberals' dishonesty, cronyism and corruption, but thanks to them for confirming what we've always known: a governing party might talk a good game about how its mandate is to represent all Canadians, regardless of who they voted for, but in the end, the government will be partial towards those who voted for them.
The heating oil exemption has been dogging the Liberals for a couple of weeks. Try to defend it as they might, they're getting hammered. And while it might win them some support in Atlantic Canada in the next federal election, people elsewhere can see it for the vote grab that it is.
Here in Saskatchewan, the provincial government is threatening to withhold the carbon tax on natural gas SaskEnergy, despite the threat of hefty fines from the feds and possibly even jail time for Crown corporation executives. (seems like sth is missing) The provincial government will lose, just like it lost the court challenge when the feds ramrodded a carbon tax on us back in 2019, but at least they're fighting and trying to expose the feds' double standard.
Most Saskatchewan people will be happen (not sure what you meant) to see the province fight the feds on this one, even if it's unwinnable. Fighting the feds is seemingly the best way imaginable for them to try to slow down the rise in popularity of such entities as the Saskatchewan United Party and the Buffalo Party.
This hasn't been the greatest of years for the Saskatchewan Party government, either.
Meanwhile, the NDP has to put Saskatchewan first and criticize the Liberals on this front, even if it puts them at odds with the national NDP. It's great that the NDP supported a Sask. Party motion condemning the feds' double standard, but the efforts have to go further.
Carla Beck has done a lot of good since she became the party's leader in the spring of 2022. The party now has the bulk of the seats in Regina and it looks primed to win its most seats in an election since 2007.
But should the federal NDP ask the provincial party to back off and fall in line, a firm no should be Beck's only suitable response.
My opposition to the carbon tax has been well-documented, long before it was introduced several years ago. Ultimately, it doesn't have the desired effect of reducing emissions. All it does is discourage investment, aggravate industries, punish businesses and create a trickle-down effect that hurts Canadians in their pocketbooks. The carbon tax rebates have only gone so far to offset the tax's impact.
It doesn't help that the feds have continued to increase the carbon tax, and these increases have occurred at a time of considerable inflation that makes it difficult for Canadians to pay the bills. The continued hikes have been a tone-deaf move by the Liberals, all in the name of fighting climate change.
Want to reduce emissions and combat climate change while helping the economy? Invest in innovation. Create jobs. Give industries reason to believe in what you're doing here. Celebrate businesses from all industries trying to reduce their environmental footprint. There is a balance that can be struck between what's good for the economy and what's good for the environment. Our current prime minister hasn't grasped it.
And when the Liberals come out with their pick-and-choose approach to carbon tax exemptions, it makes you wonder if they will ever grasp it.