Well, well. Stephen Dion finally shows some spine and comes out swinging. I had thought that he was going to be a foot note in history books but looks like he is fighting to be on the front pages.
I read the plan (PDF) and on paper it looks like a bold initiative and seems do-able. Here is my take on the plan:
WE NEED LEADERSHIP TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE AND STEPHEN DION PROVIDES IT.
I was once part of a focus group where environment was the focus. I remember one of the questions was, how much would you be willing to spend more per month to help pay for the environment. And it was obvious right away that the younger crowd (less than 40 year) was willing to put in more money than the older crowd (a couple of the oldies actually said “the environment can go to hell”). This was a couple of years ago and environment is not on top in the minds of fickle minded Canadians. However, what we need desperately is leadership in fighting global warming. And for my money, Stephen Dion has come up with a very good plan. Will I have to pay for it? Of course, the gas prices will go up, the food costs will go up, the manufactured items will go up and jobs will be lost. So, I and millions will have to pay for the cost in some form. But if it’s good for the economy in the long run and helps my kid, I will pay for it.
I think that this plan is revolutionary and very helpful to the environment and the economy. That’s right, the plan helps save taxes for individuals and the industrial sector. Do not be sucked into this belief that the plan is going to hammer the economy. The industrial sector (the largest polluters) will be getting major tax breaks from the plan. The small businesses will get larger cuts from the plan so it’s win win for all parties concerned. The plan proposes to set up auditing to make sure that each dollar earned from the polluters will go to the Canadians in form of tax breaks and credits.
Politically, this plan will be a hard sell. I mean, Alberta and Saskatchewan would be violently opposed to the plan. Ontario’s manufaturing sector will be opposed to it as well. But if the message can be streamlined by the Liberal party and can elucidate the key points of the plan, majority of the Canadians will go for it. And the Liberal, once in power, can cajol and negotiate it’s way to implementation of the plan.
I intend on watching the Liberals very closely on this. If they ho hum their way through the PR campaign of the plan, I am going to assume that they have every intention of loosing to the Conservatives and vote another way. If they take the fight to the Conservatives, I will be a big proponent of the Liberals and talk to all my friends and acquaintenances to vote Liberals.
Next few months would be interesting.