A few of my readers have pointed out that my previous post asking debate questions omitted the Green Party. I firmly believe that the Green Party should have been invited to the debate. While the point is now moot, I feel that if their qualification for federal party funding that is triggered by 2% of the vote, that should also trigger participation in the debate. If the party is deserving of our tax dollars, it’s deserving of a spot in the debate.
So, here’s my question for the Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May
In your platform, you provide a roadmap for a Green Tax Shift, adding taxes on carbon and reducing payroll taxes for EI and CPP while providing protection for low income consumers. (I must compliment you on the detail in the budget by the way – we should demand such detail from all the parties) Even though you introduce the program so that it is revenue-neutral from the government and consumer perspective, your policy would seem to introduce significant regional inequality.
Since GHGs and population are not clustered in the same regions, a green tax shift will induce a transfer of wealth out of the western provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In reducing the income of emitting firms operating within these regions, the effect will be exacerbated since the provincial corporate income tax base will be eroded by the amount of the collected carbon tax revenue.
Given this, I have two questions. First, do you intend to introduce any provisions to correct for the regional inequality introduced by your green tax shift? Second, would you be prepared to allow for an equivalent, provincially-administered carbon pricing policy to be implemented in those provinces which have been early actors on carbon pricing including Alberta and BC?