The Ruttle Report - Clock's Ticking Until the Polls Open

So last Friday, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal voted in favor of the federal government’s carbon pricing plan, a.k.a. the carbon tax – those two little words that have become all the more hated by scores of Canadians in the last year and change since its introduction.

In response, Premier Scott Moe signalled his government’s intentions to take their fight to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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Was Friday’s decision a notch in the ‘win’ column for Justin Trudeau and his collective entourage?  Yes.

Was it a knockout win?  Far from it.

The vote came down to 3/2, a virtual near split.  Now, to me, that figure speaks volumes about where this issue resonated with the Court of Appeal.  It was a narrow figure that showed clear division about the issue at hand among those with a vote.

A narrow figure led to a narrow victory for Justin and the Liberals.

But while Trudeau and company could breathe a modest sigh of relief on Friday, they need to realize that this isn’t going away anytime soon.

Premier Moe’s taking our province’s fight against the carbon tax to the Supreme Court.  Meanwhile, the Ontario Court of Appeal just finished hearing arguments in Premier Doug Ford's challenge of it.  Still to come is a challenge from Brian Pallister's government in Manitoba, and newly-elected Premier Jason Kenney's new government in Alberta is likely to file a challenge of its own.

Man, I really wish we lived in a world where we could’ve gotten British Columbia in on this fight to make it a clean sweep of the west versus Ottawa, but our friends out there have their own challenges.  The joke has always been, “BC – Bring Cash”, but there’s nothing funny about their soaring gas prices, which may have already hit $1.80/litre by the time you’ve finished this sentence.  Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan’s busy pointing fingers at everyone; except for himself, of course.

The carbon tax introduced by Trudeau and the Liberals, to me, only serves to make life in general more expensive for everyday, middle-class Canadians while failing to produce any substantial positive effects on the environment.  In my book, that’s one of the biggest things I find so bizarre and ridiculous about the whole thing; the virtual lack of finite numbers, facts and statistics that support Ottawa’s idea.

Hey, what can I say, I’m a details kinda guy.  Show me how a carbon tax has produced clear results in a country of similar size and scope of Canada, and I’ll listen.  I’m a reporter; listening’s about 80% of my job.

No, I’m more of an innovation kinda guy.  Take the Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, for example.  In March of last year, the facility’s carbon capture and storage process reached a milestone of preventing two million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.  At the end of 2018, the facility reported a daily average capture rate of 2502 tonnes per day; a bigger number than its target of 2435 tonnes.

Two million tonnes, geez.  That’s the equivalent of taking about 500,000 vehicles off the road.

What’s more, they’re doing so with coal, in a way that makes it one of the cleanest fossil fuel units on the planet.

When I see this kind of incredible work being done that is getting true, factual results and making a clear difference, I'll simply never understand the argument for any kind of carbon tax by the federal government, particularly when it's so clearly obvious that investing in innovation such as what they’re doing at Boundary Dam is one of the keys toward a greener and cleaner environment.

Invest, don't tax.  What a concept!

Trudeau and the Liberal Party have seemed to do all they can to shore up their “likability factor” in the east, but they may have done irreparable harm to Ottawa’s reputation in the west, which has made even louder cries of “Separate!” in recent times.

They also need to remember that the federal election is but a few short months away, and Canada could see a major spike in voter turnout that is decidedly “non red” with its ballot.

And that won’t be simply because of a ridiculous, facts-light carbon tax.  Remember SNC-Lavalin?  Yeah, you can bet a large double-double from Tim’s that THAT little scandal is going to be on the forefront of many minds when Election Day nears.

Clock’s ticking, Justin.  Canadians want to get at those polls much sooner than later.  You may want to pre-pack your belongings so it’s a swift moving-out period when Canadians give you the bum’s rush in the fall.  At least I hope they do.

"Ultimately, the fate of the Trudeau carbon tax will be decided in the federal election this fall," Premier Moe said on Friday to reporters.

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Scott.

For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.

© The Outlook

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