Canadians should be aware of the fallacies of “climate plans”
There are two fallacies that Canadian voters must bear in mind when assessing the “climate plans” of the various political parties. The first fallacy afflicts equally the plans of the Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens. It is the fallacy of thinking that we can all get richer by producing and consuming more expensive energy.
The Liberal plan is the most blatant. They pretend that their tax-and-rebate plan will leave 80% of Canadians financially better off, since the rebate will be higher than they spend, directly and indirectly, on the carbon tax. The math behind that claim seems extremely dodgy to me, given that the annual rebate is only $307 per family of four in Ontario. For many families of four, that amount will hardly cover the gas tax, let alone home heating and the increased cost of everything that has a production or transportation component before consumption. The Trudeau family probably spends their entire carbon rebate budget on a one-day surfing holiday in Tofino.
The NDP and Greens are more cagey. They point to the array of new, well-paying, high-tech “green jobs” that will be created by transitioning from fossil fuels to solar and wind. (They oppose nuclear and hydro-electrical generation on ideological grounds.) This is like thinking that if you pay me very high wages to do your household chores, and I pay a third person similarly to do mine, and that third person pays you to do her chores, we will all get rich from the high wages suddenly being doled out. It ignores the increased costs to everyone, too.
Energy is an essential cost of living. The more expensive an energy source is, the higher your cost of living will be, no matter what “jobs” that source of energy “creates,” and no matter what the government “rebates” to you. The higher cost might be worth the benefit in “cleaner air”—that’s a debate for another day—but there is no possible way that the transition to a more expensive energy source could result in the creation of greater wealth for anyone but the politically well-connected. No matter what they try to tell you, the Liberal, NDP, and Green “climate plans” will cost you dearly if they are to be effective in achieving their aim.
Which brings us to one of the main planks in the recently announced CPC “climate plan”—to export more oil and gas to Asia, so they can replace their coal-burning power plants, or at least build fewer of them. This is a solution I have been urging for years, because it is a win-win-win whether CO2 is a menace or not.
The fallacy this time isn’t in the “climate plan”—it is in the critique. The mainstream media are reluctant to give Andrew Scheer any credit for that plan. “It doesn’t help Canada to meet our Paris commitments,” they complain. “According to the Paris Agreement, carbon credits go to the country that is replacing coal with LNG and oil—not to the country that exports it.”
This is a bizarre response, though. Climate change is supposed to be a global “emergency.” The scientivists tell us we have only 4,228 days left to curb our energy enthusiasm. But here in Canada, the nit-pickers imply that Canada shouldn’t take steps to improve the global level of emissions unless we get “credit” for it—which is to say, unless some UN agency gives us praise or a plaque or something. It’s like they want us to believe that if we don’t get Paris’s love and approval, it isn’t worth saving the planet, after all. Let’s call the whole thing off.
The fallacy here is to think locally—parochially—instead of globally. If you believe that “carbon emissions” are a global emergency, then your goal should be to reduce global emissions, period. And since the developing world currently uses the most carbon-intensive energy, that is where the greatest reductions are of necessity going to be found, and at the lowest cost, too. It makes perfect sense to start there, if saving the planet is the aim.
The complaint against the CPC plan only makes sense if this whole climate business is an exercise in virtue-signalling, or a game of wedge politics. This charade is becoming increasingly apparent judging by the lack of gravitas with which politicians and the certified journalists approach the subject.
High school teachers in Ontario have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike, according to CTV News.
After a vote in Toronto, 95 percent of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) voted in favour, thus providing an “overwhelming” mandate to carry out strike action.
Alongside teachers, the union also represents education workers who also voted strongly in favour of a strike.
The OSSTF now has to send a five-day notice stating when the strike will begin. After this, they will be in a legal position to stage a strike.
Elementary school teachers and Catholic school board teachers are also expected to threaten strike action.
Disclosure: Tanya Granic Allen is a former Ontario PC leadership candidate in the last race in which Ford won. She also ran in the last Ontario provincial election as a PC candidate until Ford decided she could no longer run for the party after the Liberals pushed a video of her speaking about sex-ed and gay marriage in the context of a previous Marxist-Yugoslav Communist regime.
The Ford “conservative” government is continuing its bullying of Ontario Catholic schools into adopting the full program of neo-Marxist, gender ideology–the very same gender ideology that Pope Francis condemned as “demonic” and comparable to “the educational policies of Hitler.”
Last week in a vote of eight to four, the Toronto Catholic District School Board voted to add “gender identity” into the Board’s code of conduct. This flies directly in the face of Catholic moral teaching on sexuality.
The vote was taken to comply with the Ford Government’s diktat, known as “Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 128.”. PPM 128 demanded gender theory be adopted into all schools’ codes of conduct which will affect disciplining of students as well as practices for hiring teachers.
PPM 128 is most offensive for Catholic schools because they enjoy constitutional protection against anti-religious ideology that other school boards do not. Section 93 of the Constitution Act,1867, as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, guarantee that Ontario Catholics have a right to run their own schools and teach the Catholic faith in those schools.
As Pope Francis has pointed out, gender ideology contravenes Catholic moral teaching. But it is also contrary to natural law. For those who might be behind the times, gender ideology is the unscientific, ideological theory that there are many more genders beyond male and female. Sometimes there are six gender identities, sometimes seventy-two gender identities or even a “limitless” number. Gender ideology promotes the fiction that gender is merely a social construct. In other words, if a man declares himself to be a woman well, then, he is a woman.
When some brave Toronto Catholic school trustees offered resistance to PPM 128, a letter was issued from the Government’s Ontario Human Rights Commission demanding board action on gender ideology. When further resistance was met, Ford sent his Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, to insist that the Catholic school board buckle to Ford’s gender ideology policy. As Minister Lecce put it, “My message to the board is quite clear. My expectation is that every child irrespective of their differences can see themselves reflected in schools and more importantly that they will adhere to the Ontario Human Rights Code.”
Ultimately, several trustees caved in to pressure from Doug Ford’s minions including Lecce and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Shame on them. But, also, shame on Doug Ford and his new ideology! Kathleen Wynne must be so proud of him!
Am I surprised? Not in the least. Ford’s procession has been steady and swift to worship at the altar of gender ideology he now promotes with the same zeal and gusto as Kathleen Wynne. During the leadership campaign that made him Ontario PC Leader, Doug Ford said he was against this nonsense. Rightly, he condemned gender identity theory, calling it “Liberal ideology” and promised to stop forcing it on Ontario schools, parents and students, especially in the sex-ed curriculum.
However, almost immediately upon becoming Premier, Ford flip-flopped on this promise. Within days of his swearing in as Premier, Ford’s first Education Minister promised that “gender identity” and “gender
ideology” would remain in the new Ford curriculum.
Now that he is Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford is pursuing gender ideology with the zeal of a convert. He is forcing his new beliefs on the Ontario public starting with bullying Ontario school boards, both Catholic and public.
In November 2018, at the Ontario PC policy convention, I sponsored a resolution that condemned gender ideology and called on the Ford government to stop forcing it on Ontario students. This resolution was passed by over two-thirds of the party delegates present. Ford’s initial reaction was stupefied speechlessness, but, two days later, he sputtered, “I’m not moving forward with that. It’s done,” and he dismissed the resolution.
Then, in court proceedings earlier this year, Ford government lawyers re-affirmed that all the controversial topics of Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed curriculum, including gender theory, can still be taught in Ontario schools. In March, the Education Minister re-confirmed that gender ideology would remain in the Ford sex-ed school curriculum. And remain it did!
Now, a full seven years after the words “gender identity” and “gender expression” were added to the Ontario Human Rights Act, it has fallen to the “conservative” Premier Doug Ford to crack the whip and force gender ideology into the code of conduct of Ontario’s school boards. Even, the Catholic ones.
Who could have predicted that Ford would be an even bigger flip-flopper than former PC leader Patrick Brown? Even more shocking, who could have anticipated that Ford would move to the left of the neo-Marxist former Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne? Doug Ford’s new positioning as a devout worshipper at the altar of political correctness has not yet bottomed out. How far will he go?
Wynne’s anti-religious bigotry, coupled with her ideological contempt for parental rights, has been well-documented. Beyond gender ideology and her sex-ed curriculum there were several other pieces of anti-parent, anti-religion legislation which passed under her watch–all of which have remained on the books, strictly enforced by Doug Ford.
The question remains: Why? Why is Doug Ford behaving like a bigot against all religious people? Why is he so determined to force this neo-Marxist gender ideology on the students and teachers and parents of Ontario?
Premier Ford, we await your answer.
In the recent elections, Trudeau’s Liberals and Scheer’s Conservatives aggressively clashed in an effort to win over Canadian voters.
They got about a third of the popular vote each, with the Liberals forming a minority government. Conservatives went into an uproar, some calling for the removal of Scheer as party leader and others calling for the separation of western Canada into its own sovereignty.
Despite this perceived clash of parties who apparently represent two sides of a political spectrum, when you look at the actual politics of the two parties, there is much more in common than there is difference.
The difference is in rhetoric, not in substance.
Under the hood, the Liberals and the Conservatives are fundamentally the same. Where they differ is in the values they performatively signal to voters–Liberals portray themselves as social justice progressives while Conservatives prefer to espouse more traditional values.
Unfortunately for voters and for our democracy, these differences are merely surface level. When Canadians vote, they are mostly voting against something rather than for something. They tend not to vote for policies but rather against Trudeau or against Scheer. In this way, politics gets reduced to a spectacle worthy only of reality television, not of civil discourse.
On actual important political issues, the two parties are essentially the same–they both serve the rich and the corporate class while throwing bones to the rest of us.
Let’s take a look at the policies. I’ll start with what is perceived to be one of the big differences between the two parties–the carbon tax. Both parties agree that climate change is an issue, but the Liberals are in favour of a carbon tax while the Conservatives are not.
But what do the Conservatives want instead? Their recent platform promises investments in companies pursuing green technologies and it calls for new environmental standards, with fines for businesses that don’t meet them.
So, essentially, Conservatives want to use public money to subsidize private industries that they deem “green” and they want to fine businesses that are not “green.” This subsidization of government-approved businesses opens the door to corruption and backroom deals, while the fines only serve to hurt small businesses who can’t afford them rather than going after heavy polluters, who will be more than happy to pay the paltry fines.
The Conservatives have criticized the Liberals for their corporate welfare, but their “green” subsidization plans call for more of the same.
And this is not to defend the Liberal’s carbon tax, which is also a poor policy. The carbon tax will mostly affect poorer folks and small businesses who can’t afford additional expenses. The big businesses that do most of the polluting can easily afford to pay the tax and benefit from their smaller competitors going out of business.
Both parties’ policies strengthen big business while hurting small businesses and doing little for the average Canadian. While Conservatives want to repeal the carbon tax, their environmental fines would work in much the same way.
Staying on the topic of climate, both parties have committed to the Paris Climate Agreement and both acknowledge that climate change is a reality. They both want to use public money to subsidize private industries pursuing clean energy. And, most strikingly of all, they are both champions of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, although the Conservatives wave their flag a little higher. On environmental issues, the choice between the Liberals and the Conservatives can be decided with a coin flip.
When it comes to the deficit, the Liberals have shifted their goal to balance the budget from 2019 to 2040. The Conservatives vowed to erase the deficit by cutting $1.5 billion in “corporate welfare” and by selling federally owned buildings. However, judging by their pledge to give handouts to clean energy companies, it is unclear if the cuts to corporate welfare would be actual cuts or more of a redirection to other private industries. It is also important to note that, historically, the Conservatives have contributed to debt rather than alleviating it.
As for the Conservative’s plan to sell federally owned buildings to private owners, this is a potentially disastrous act of privatization that seeks a short-term gain in exchange for long-term prosperity. Real estate is a great asset to have and selling it off for what are likely to be garage sale prices to private hands could prove extremely costly in the long run. Not to mention the huge risk of corruption involved in privatization.
And sure, Trudeau’s deficit spending has gotten out of control, but redirecting corporate handouts, cutting public services, and selling federally owned real estate to private companies is not the answer. And judging by the Conservative’s history of debt accumulation, it is hard to believe that they would reverse the trend on the deficit.
On other issues like childcare, education, Indigenous rights, and housing, neither party really distinguishes itself from the other. Both parties are severely lacking on Indigenous issues, both support the Canada Child Benefit–which does little to alleviate the soaring costs of childcare in big cities, neither party offers any solutions to student debt, and both parties offer meagre home buyer benefits while doing nothing to help renters.
On healthcare, Liberals plan to take “next steps” towards pharmacare while effectively doing nothing to pursue those next steps. The Conservatives are a little more honest and dismiss pharmacare entirely. Both parties want to increase spending on mental health through health transfer payments, a meagre solution for a growing problem. Again, more of the same from the allegedly vastly different parties.
With regards to immigration, both parties want to increase the number of immigrants to 350,000 by 2021, with most of those being economic immigrants, and both want to crack down on “asylum shopping” and illegal border crossings. If immigration is your issue, Scheer and Trudeau are interchangeable.
Another big issue for a lot of Conservative voters is taxes. Both parties promise to lower taxes for the middle class, but they do this within Trojan horse policies that overwhelmingly benefit the rich. The Liberals are reducing taxes through an extension of the Basic Personal Amount (BPA) exemption while the Conservatives propose a universal tax cut. Let’s look at the numbers:
For those of us making less than six figures annually, the Liberal plan provides a slight advantage in savings. But for those lucky few making more, both parties plan to fill your pockets, with the Conservatives being a little more generous towards the rich. It’s no wonder that wealthy donors often choose to max out donations to both parties.
Andrew Scheer and Justin Trudeau lead parties that serve the interests of the rich and of Canada’s corporate oligarchy. While they paint themselves as different–Trudeau, in the past, opting to literally paint himself–they are depressingly similar. Both are dishonest in their messaging and try to win over average Canadians while pushing policies that overwhelmingly benefit the rich and powerful. But since Trudeau is actually running the country, he deserves more criticism.
Trudeau is a perfect con artist, depicting himself as a progressive champion of the people in speeches and then turning around and going back on his word behind closed doors. This was never more perfectly displayed than in the climate march where Trudeau took to the streets to march against the actions of his own government.
Trudeau has turned his back on our Indigenous population, he turned his back on electoral reform, and he expanded the oil and gas sector after running on a promise to transition to clean energy. From 2015-19, he could’ve easily upheld his promises with a majority government and NDP support for his progressive proposals. He chose not to.
Instead, he did mass infrastructure privatization, he weakened Canada’s access-to-information system and muzzled journalists and scientists in the process, he sold arms to Saudi Arabia who then used them to commit genocide in Yemen, and he signed the CETA, giving foreign companies the right to sue our government for introducing laws that might cut into their future profits.
Trudeau positions himself as the “woke” candidate, but the fact of the matter is if you’re running the government for the benefit of the rich, Canadians could care less if you have a diverse cabinet. When it comes to corruption, it doesn’t matter if it’s being done by an ethnically diverse and gender-balanced cabinet or a cabinet full of white men–the results are the same.
However, as I’ve laid out here, Scheer and the Conservatives are no better for the average Canadian. When political campaigns are run on empty rhetoric, performative wokeness, divisive attacks, and fear-mongering, voters don’t get to engage with actual policy proposals and the end up voting emotionally rather than logically.
When we vote against a character like Trudeau or Scheer instead of voting for popular policy proposals being pushed by other parties, we end up going back and forth between two parties who both serve the interests of the elite and the ruling class.
It’s time to dump our two-party system, which is, in reality, a one-party oligarchy.
Justice Russel Zinn has just released his written ruling on the Lawton and True North v. Canada case. The case was started when Rebel Media and the True North Centre for Public Policy began a legal action to obtain permission to cover the official English and French federal election debates. The two media organizations claimed they would face “irreparable harm” if they were denied access to the two debates.
The two media groups found that their accreditation to cover the debates was denied on the morning of Friday, Oct. 4, just three days before the debate. The two outlets then quickly filed urgent motions to the federal court on Monday, just hours before the debate for an interlocutory injunction against the commission’s denial. Their motion was heard at 3 p.m. and a decision was made shortly after at 4:30 p.m., just two-and-a-half hours before the debate started.
The two news outlets were particularly interested in going to the two debates run by the Leaders’ Debates Commission as they were the only debates in which Justin Trudeau attended. Most important to the two media organizations were the media scrums that took place after each debate, which gave time for accredited journalists to question the Prime Minister for up to ten minutes.
After the debates, Trudeau’s government decided to appeal the court’s decision to allow the group coverage of the debate. Their reasoning that Lawton, a journalist for True North didn’t meet their accreditation standards–despite other journalists being allowed to attend the event not meeting them.
The written decision released Thursday details why the honorable Justice Zinn decided to force the Canadian government to compensate True North for the legal costs they incurred.
The decision mentions in section 15, “The Executive Director of the Commission attests that ultimately all applications for accreditation were accepted except the two before the Court”
The decision to deny the media groups accreditation was an attempt by the Commission, created by the Trudeau government. Both True North and The Rebel are highly critical of the Trudeau government.
Justice Zinn’s decision also criticizes the vague qualifications that the Commission laid out and the unfair nature in which the accreditations were given out
“For these reasons, I find that the Applicants are likely to succeed at the hearing of the merits in successfully challenging the accreditation decisions as both unreasonable and procedurally unfair.”
The decision also criticized the stance of the Commission that the groups would not be negatively impacted by not being allowed physical access to the debate. Justice Zinn retorted in section 53 and 54 that the Commission was ignoring the real reason in which a media group would be interested in attending the debate would be for the scrum
“This submission ignores the reality that accredited persons have access to more than the two-hour period when the leaders are involved on stage in debating. As noted above, no accredited press have direct access to the leaders during that period. If all one gets from accreditation is the ‘privilege’ of sitting in a room with some 258 other journalists watching the televised broadcast of the six leaders debating, then one must wonder why anyone would apply to be accredited rather than watching from the comfort of one’s office or home.
In section 54 Justice Zinn states, “The Commission’s Executive Director in his affidavit provides the answer. The benefit of accreditation, and perhaps the sole benefit, is access to the media scrum.”