The Rachel Notley government unveiled its carbon levy tax scheme this week, and in classic government fashion it downplayed just how much it will cost the average Albertan.
According to the government, a typical Alberta family will pay between $70 and $105 extra per year for consumer goods and services as a result of the carbon tax (or carbon “levy” as the government prefers). One of the new taxes is an increase of almost 5 cents a litre on gas. OK, say you fill up your 50 litre tank, which will cost you another $2.50. If you fill up twice a month, that’s an extra $5. So yearly, that’s $60 — and we haven’t added the additional charges for natural gas, or the additional charges every industry in Alberta will add on to what you buy to cover the costs of the tax. Methinks the government is lowballing the total cost to the people, which isn’t the first time a government has fudged the costs of taxation, and it won’t be the last. The net impact, I think, will be billions in additional dollars for the government, and no appreciable decrease in emissions. The carbon tax is more of an expensive public relations campaign than sound public policy, and we won’t know the real impact until years go by and billions have been collected. But hey, I’m one of those who will get rebates, so … tax away, Rachael!
Wildrose goes wild
The Am-badass-ador strikes
Remember Kevin Vickers, Canadian hero?
Mr. Vickers (I call him mister because he deserves respect) was the Sergeant at Arms in Parliament when it was attacked in 2014. Mr. Vickers, a former mountie, was one of those who shot and killed the gunman who was terrorizing Parliament Hill. A photo of Mr. Vickers, striding manfully in his ceremonial garb, gun in hand, made him a national hero. For his reward, he was named ambassador to Ireland, presumably to enjoy the semi-retirement enjoyed by Canadian ambassadors in non-essential countries.
But semi-retirement does not fit Mr. Vickers well. This week during a ceremony in Dublin to honour the British soldiers who died in the 1916 Easter Rising, Vickers took matters into his own hands (literally) when a protestor interrupted the proceedings. Mr. Vickers strode towards the scrawny, Moby look-alike protestor, grabbed him and hauled his ass out of the scene, then calmly returned to the ceremony. Even better, he did this while ceremonial guards stood placidly by (they were only ceremonial, after all) and the real security was somewhere off having a smoke. Some people took exception, of course, but not many. This isn’t what ambassadors are supposed to do, but Mr. Vickers was a Mountie a lot longer than he has been an ambassador.
Ya gotta love the guy.
This just in … they’re still playing hockey.
The National Hockey League is still playing, rumour has it. I had to check the paper to see who’s still active.
This week, the Stanley Cup finalists were set, and the NHL and its Canadian broadcasters narrowly avoided disaster. Thanks to the appearance of the Pittsburgh Penguins and all-Canadian superstar Sydney Crosby, there will be a few hundred thousand more viewers for the finals. Had the Penguins lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Stanley Cup would have featured hockey hotbeds Tampa and San Jose. Viewership for that matchup would have barely eked out a million viewers. Overall, thanks to the lack of Canadian content, hockey playoff numbers are down 44 per cent in Canada; the only playoff games that have topped 1.5 million viewers since the playoffs started are three games involving the Penguins. Three NBA playoff games featuring the Toronto Raptors topped 1.5 million viewers as faux fans jumped on the bandwagon. Overall, hockey viewership skews a lot older than basketball, which doesn’t bode well for the NHL.
John Brophy, 83, former head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.