Monday, January 22, 2007

"Dessert is three kinds of dessert"

Kind of interesting week it's been, with the Conservative government unveiling its so-called Green Plan. Couple things stick out for me. First, the Harper team seems to be backing away from a Liberal tax shelter that proved to be a boon for the oil sands business -- allowing Big Oil to accelerate amortization over a very short period, just ten years. Now why on Earth would a party that bleeds oil want to cancel the very tax break that has allowed Alberta to completely eliminate its debt is astonishing. No more so than the sudden decision to begin the taxation of income trusts.

Second, the Cons revived the EnerGuide program -- sort of. People will now be able to get a rebate for retrofitting their homes, but only if they put up all the money first. This effectively means wealthier people will be able to heat their monster homes for way less than lower class people spend to warm their shacks -- going against the original intent to give everyone an incentive to upgrade and save money. When the oil runs out in Alberta and Newfoundland, the rich will be on wind power or geothermal whilst the rest of us buy it from Venezuela's dictator for life Hugo Chavez. (Blow a raspberry here.)

Third, they announce they're protecting a huge swath of the British Columbia coastline and Haida Gwaii -- the Queen Charlottes -- mostly with private money, though. The forest industry's.

For Team Harper, conservation and green values are a virtue, not a collective responsibility. For them, dessert is three kinds of dessert -- we can have our cake and eat it too, but not face the fact we face. What we need are real emission standards ... but we're going to have to wait another 6,917 days for that!

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