LETTER: Carbon tax a band-aid solution to a gaping wound

The proposed concept of a carbon tax is nothing more than a feel-good measure taken by the government in order to appear “in action.” It doesn’t take much insight and logical thought to realize that this manoeuvre is nothing more than the government’s “action plan” masquerading as yet another hike in civilian taxes.

To make things clear, I do believe action needs to be taken in order to preserve our precious environment, I merely hold an opinion that this course of action is not the answer. Many Canadians depend on personal vehicles to commute to and from work, and in a country that stays frozen half the year, it is clear why many do not bike to work or walk. It’s just not feasible.

Even public transport is pathetic in many urban regions. I myself spent over an hour waiting outside for buses that took a collective two hours to take me from the airport to my house, a trip that takes 25 minutes in a car.

Financial pressure will not encourage Canadians to shift to electric cars either, as they are not economically within reach of the average Joe. Since electric cars are somewhat a commodity of the future, they are quite expensive (the cheapest is around $30,000) and the costs of investing in such a vehicle cannot be justified over paying an annual tax on one’s $5,000 used Toyota Corolla.

The carbon tax will only lower living conditions for those already struggling to make ends meet, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the kind of people who will be hit hardest by this carbon tax will not be the people likely to buy solar racks for their house or dig a hole to heat it geothermically. They will instead resort to cheaper alternatives, like incandescent bulbs for lighting and wood and oil for heating. Exactly the opposite of what Environment Canada is trying to achieve here.

Politicians argue that carbon taxes would reduce emissions of energy companies by a huge factor, and yes, that is true. That being said, it is ridiculous to compare the resources of a multi-billion dollar corporation to the average working man who has a family to feed and enough bills to pay. These companies will find it cost-effective to invest in scrubbers for their emissions and find greener alternatives, whereas this citizen’s only choice is to bear the brunt of a hike in overall taxes. This tax will only make living conditions more expensive, and that means less pocket money for actual green solutions.

Shifting Canadians’ sources of energy lie in the industry giants themselves, and that can be beneficial both financially and environmentally to everyone involved. Trudeau, who buckled under pressure to approve a pipeline across B.C. and Alberta due to unemployment in Alberta, could have easily pleased both parties for and against this scheme by thinking outside the box. Why not build wind farms over the vast Prairies to reap rewards from the massive arctic downdrafts? Solar farms for the sunny summer? Jobs can be created by investing in green solutions, if only we could see our problems as opportunities.

I myself am a youth of 16 years in age, and if I can point out the problems in a carbon tax then I certainly hope that educated adults can understand them as well.

Evan Guildford

Saanich

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