Canadian KYOTO, a made in Canada plan
Now is the time for Canadians to put their money where their mouth is! Can Canadians honour “their” commitment to the KYOTO protocol and set an example for the world? Here is a simple solution. Hold a plebiscite on adopting an energy surcharge tax (EST) tax in Canada. According to the recent 700 page report by Nicholas Stern and the UK government (Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change) the countries of the world need to spend US$ 450 billion each year to cut carbon dioxide emissions! It has been estimated that in order to meet our KYOTO commitments Canada needs to give approximately 6 billion dollars a year to foreign countries in the form of carbon tax credits.
In the next Federal election in addition to voting for our MP we could also vote on a 10 cent per litre EST on gasoline. Let us not fall into the trap of endlessly expounding on economic taxation theories. Let’s just do it! The plebiscite question should be a simple, Yes or No. The EST would be collected on all gasoline or fossil fuels used for transportation. There would be No exceptions, everyone would pay! Assuming Canadians consume 60 billion litres per year of fuel for transportation a 10 cent per litre tax gives the federal government 6 billion dollars per year for “made in Canada”, alternative energy projects that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions. If the British Stern report is true then based upon Canada’s 5% global contribution to carbon dioxide emissions we would be getting off easy.
The 6 billion EST dollars collected each year would remain in Canada and would not be paid to foreign countries in the form of carbon credits. The operation and control of the EST fund must be completely transparent. In contrast to the proposed EST, if carbon tax credits were adopted by the Canadian government it would make unelected United Nation bureaucrats very happy. If the Canadian government adopts the carbon credit concept , it would be extremely unrealistic to expect our Federal government to oversee and monitor how our annual 6 billion dollars is being spent in foreign countries. Additional layers of foreign bureaucracy in foreign countries, beyond our control, only increases exponentially the risk of mismanagement of our Canadian tax dollars.
It is Canadian taxpayers money not the money of unelected people at the United Nations!. By a federal law, the transparent EST fund could only be spent on energy projects in Canada that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The spending and allocation of funds would be decided by a federal government appointed committee. The committee would be a combination of elected MPs and qualified scientists who are not employed by the oil and gas industry. The logistics of the committee appointments are a separate challenge! The short term EST funds would be collected and accrue interest while the committee is being formed.
If the EST funds are not spent they would remain intact and accrue interest. The spending of funds would be completely transparent and the committee would be accountable to parliament and audited quarterly by the Auditor Generals office.
If the plebiscite showed that 60% of Canadians were in favour by voting YES, then it would become law and the Federal government could get on with other matters of national concern. The three federal political parties would be obliged to respect the will of the majority as a result of the plebiscite.
Here is a plan to resolve the KYOTO conundrum.
Hold a plebiscite, asking for a 10 cents per litre EST.
If there is a 60% YES vote, establish the EST fund.
Choose the EST fund committee
If less than 60% .