Colby Cosh: Liberal rejection of Saskatchewan’s carbon plan is a cynical ploy to punish Conservative voting in the West

Liberals trust voters in Ontario and Quebec to mindlessly ignore injustice

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My agreement with the liberal restoration of Canada (2015 – ????) has always been to say to myself, “Well, at least we have some extremely cynical and Machiavellian liberals. Imagine if we had Liberals who really believed what they said! But at this point I have to say that they are really doing too much.

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Two recent actions by the federal Liberal government truly cross the line from Machiavellianism to Satanism: the Attorney General is suing the Speaker of the House of Commons to resist the production of evidence demanded at the bar of the House by Parliament, and the Department of Finance is to “freeze” the application of a tax law that has received Royal Assent without a specific date of entry into force.

The lawsuit against the President on the file of dismissals of scientists at the National Microbiology Laboratory has a thin layer of pretext. The Federal Public Health Agency and the Liberal government insist that the post 9/11 provisions of the Canada Evidence Act mean that disclosure of information “harming international relations, national defense or national security ”is impossible, even on order Loger. (And who decides what’s wrong? The right people, no doubt.)

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This represents an unusual view of the privileges of Parliament, which are normally supposed to be absolute and supreme. Some jurists believe that the correct remedy would be for the House to explicitly waive the application of the Canada Evidence Act, which it neglected to do in its requests for the production of documents, or for the House to vote against the government. . The crux of the argument is that this is an appropriate question to take to the courts, even if the referral is made in the hope that an interim election will produce a Liberal majority.

Well, it looks like we’re going to have such an election, and a vote for the Liberals will be a vote to endorse the minority government’s use of unthinkable obstructionist tactics against Parliament. The second controversy, that of the tax bill, shows this particularly clearly. The Ministry of Finance has, with the explicit approval of the Liberal cabinet, agreed that its own press release saying “We will not implement this new law until January 1” is law and that the will of Parliament is not. not.

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Contempt of Parliament is not a strong enough term for that: it is a bureaucratic coup, a usurpation. Your Liberal vote is a vote for that too. If the administrative state can get away with it, it can get away with anything. And any new power that you trust the Liberals with will one day, sooner or later, belong to another party.

On Monday, the government added a third insult to the rule of law by rejecting Saskatchewan’s plan to fully join the federal carbon tax regime with a carbon tax that would have reimbursed gas buyers. Saskatchewan’s plan would have protected consumer fuel from tax cuts designed to promote fuel efficiency and encourage better driving habits. It is undoubtedly the addition of a loophole. The problem is that New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have already been welcomed into the federal plan despite the application of exactly similar fuel rebates at the provincial level.

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We have just spent a few years pleading for the federal carbon plan, considered to be an exercise of the rule of law: was it consistent or not with the division of powers in the Constitution? Ultimately, with the split of the provincial courts of appeal, the Supreme Court approved the federal plan. And our concern about the rule of law quickly collapsed.

Saskatchewan, which has resisted the carbon tax in court, is explicitly subject to a different standard than NB and PEI. incentive on their drivers at some point in the future. (At one point, not too close to a federal election, probably.) So this isn’t really a blatant injustice or a double standard. It is just a standard that is applied immediately in places that vote Conservative, and very slowly in places that vote Liberal.

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Again, if you want more of this sort of thing, you know exactly how to vote. The Machiavellian element of the tactic is obvious. The Liberals want to run an election against the backdrop of Western politicians complaining about the carbon tax. The obvious injustice in its application is a good way to circulate complaints!

The Liberals trust voters in Ontario and Quebec to mindlessly ignore injustice and hear from cranky Saskatchewan only the indecipherable trumpet cry of off-screen adults in a Peanuts cartoon. It is hoped that the conscience of these voters can be moved by the spectacle of government actions which are fundamentally odious and degrading. But it is not, alas, as one would dare to bet.

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