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Monday, June 23, 2008

B.C. Liberals' shell game

The B.C. Liberal goverment's $100 bribe, er "Climate Action Dividend," arrived in the mail just now. Pitched by Gordon Campbell as a way of "making it easier for British Columbians to choose a lower carbon lifestyle," the cheque is viewed in the real world as a political sweetener designed to take the edge off the three-cents-a-litre carbon tax* the government is imposing on gasoline starting July 1.

The cheque was accompanied by a little pamphlet entitled "How will you spend your $100?" Suggestions include switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs ($39), weather-stripping windows and doors ($68) and installing crawl-space insulation ($243 -- a figure that would entail the pooling of my cheque with that of my wife and one of my children).

But you've got to suspect that the vast majority of British Columbians are, like me, simply going to put the money into their personal equivalent of "general revenue" and use it to help pay for the higher cost of driving a car.

Shotgun readers are encouraged to suggest other uses.

*The actual figure is 2.41 cents per litre of gasoline and 2.76 cents per litre for diesel and heating oil. The taxes will rise to 7.24 and 8.27 cents per litre, respectively, by 2012.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on June 23, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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I am spending my free money going green. The hundred bucks goes a long way to providing me with a rousing game of golf. I will get myself physically fit at the same time as spending considerable time on about 18 "Greens." Chip and a putt. Thank you Gordon.

Posted by: Servant | 2008-06-23 2:11:12 PM

As an Albertan, I see a few choices. One is to by toilet paper with is, and the other is to use it as toilet paper.

Posted by: TM | 2008-06-23 2:53:21 PM

The 2.5 cents/litre on gas should go a long way in killing off BC's tourist industry this summer.

Y'all are welcome in Alberta.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-06-23 3:10:13 PM

I figured I'd spend mine for fueling up the truck when I go to get my next load of firewood. Somehow I don't think that's quite what they had intended...

Posted by: Fred | 2008-06-23 8:07:38 PM

I figured I'd spend mine for fueling up the truck when I go to get my next load of firewood. Somehow I don't think that's quite what they had intended...

Posted by: Fred | 2008-06-23 8:08:10 PM

I'm going to use mine to buy a copy of Battlefield: Bad Company for my PS3 tomorrow, which I am subsequently going to play for hours on a 42" TV with the air conditioning running at full blast.

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-06-23 9:11:36 PM

My friends thought I was nuts, moving to Saskatchewan in 1997, leaving BC behind after over 30 years.
And now I laugh...

Posted by: Dana | 2008-06-23 9:44:20 PM

Whatever its not that bad. Consumption taxes are better than income taxes. They hurt the economy way less on a 1 on 1 basis, regardless of the awkward distribution of this new consumption tax.

I think allot more people are going to spend this money on drugs, than are going to donate it to the police force. Now people can make there basements more green with some more indoor plant lighting with this little cash injection. If the BC government wanted to keep it even, they should give the police a funding bonus equal to the one they gave the drug dealers.

Posted by: Steve from Alberta | 2008-06-23 11:07:50 PM

Gonna buy 4 cartons of smokes from my friendly native supplyers and pledge not to vote liberal next election.

Posted by: peterj | 2008-06-23 11:47:50 PM

You say you might buy some compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are also known as mercury lights. Google mercury lights and see what comes up.
Check out the warnings about cleaning up after you break one. The cleanup is speaking about a break on a hard surface such as a vinyl floor. I wonder how you are supposed to clean up if a bulb breaks on carpet.
What do we do when the bulb wears out? Yes it's a long way down the road but if there are 250 million bulbs sold in Canada, a conservative number I think, and there are 4 ml of mercury per bulb, another conservative number, what are we supposed to do with half a million litres of mercury in 15 or 20 years. Someone is going to have to pay for the disposal.
I am stocking up on incandescents. To heck with

Posted by: gordonm | 2008-06-24 8:22:04 AM

No government is going to tell me what light bulbs I buy. And they certainly are not going to by force of law tell me to bring uncontrolled volumes of mercury gas into my children's bedrooms.

Absurd. Absolutely absurd.


Posted by: epsilon | 2008-06-24 8:26:28 AM

I will use some of my 100 bucks to buy a couple of cases of 60 and 100 watt incandescent light bulbs so I will never have to use the twisted, mercury filled, made-only-in-China bulbs.

I will donate the rest of it to Kate McMillan who has been running great debunk items on the folly of the global warming scam at her blog smalldeadanimals.ca

Posted by: John V | 2008-06-24 9:14:46 AM

How about 2 cases of beer.
Or maybe a hooker.

Posted by: atric | 2008-06-24 11:22:01 AM

I'll use it to offset the 3 cent per litre carbon tax. Since I use about 2,000 litres per year, I can apply the $100 at the rate of 3 cents against every litre I buy for about 20 months. That neatly makes it all "revenue neutral", at least for 20 months for me. After that period, I just don't know. Pay more I guess.

Posted by: dewp | 2008-06-24 11:33:09 AM

How will anyone spend their $100? Are they serious? I would think they will need to spend it on gasoline. What a wonderful system. Tax the money away from people, then run it through an expensive government bureaucracy, and send back a pittance with a brochure telling people how to spend their own money. Pure genius.

Posted by: Tom | 2008-06-24 3:01:04 PM

And to think this new tax just goes into general revenue (better known as the pig trough). It gets better all the time.I will certainly think of the Liberals while trying not to freeze this coming winter.

Posted by: peterj | 2008-06-26 11:43:04 PM

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