Canada's carbon tax Trojan Horses in the conservative movement
Looks as if, in the wake of the devastating federal election loss last October that brought Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party to majority power, Canadian conservatives are realizing that their Conservative Party under Stephen Harper was not even close to conservative. Indeed, the most vicious and determined opponents of true conservatives in the Great White North over the past decade came not from members of the left-wing Liberal and New Democratic Parties, but from among their own midst.
On Friday, conservative commentator Ezra Levant, who runs the Canadian website TheRebel.media, debated Mark Cameron, a former policy director for former "conservative" Prime Minister Harper, about whether conservatives should support carbon taxation. Cameron is currently the executive director of Canadians for Clean Prosperity, a pro-carbon tax advocacy group, and he is apparently also "on the advisory board of the Pembina Institute and the steering committee of Sustainable Prosperity," both left-wing environmental activist organizations.
Following his debate with Cameron, Levant came to the conclusion that "there are rich, secretive people pushing carbon taxes onto the Conservative Party":
The arguments are so unconservative. Listening to U.N. politics posing as climate science. That's not conservative. Listening to arguments about why we need more taxes, and how other taxes will be cut, pinky swear, I'm sorry I don't buy it. Listening to how this is a political winner for conservatives, I don't buy that for sure. I spent a lot of time asking him [Mark Cameron] about his funding and lobbying, maybe too much time, maybe I wasn't fair to Mark, but I did give him the last word and equal time. I let him make a rebuttal. But here's the thing. The more he wouldn't answer, the more I was curious why. The more he was shy to say who the tycoons are who are funding him, the more I thought, you know, I bet that's probably pretty important. And I bet they're not conservative. Mark did not convince me of the wisdom of a carbon tax, but he convinced me there are some very rich people, very secretive people, paying him to inject the carbon tax into the Conservative Party.
Just a cursory review of Cameron's social media presence seems to support Levant's concerns.
Cameron appears to be a strong supporter of the panel chair for the far-left New Democratic Party's carbon tax report in Alberta, which led to the implementation of Alberta's carbon pricing scheme, and whose own views toward taxpayers appear rather controversial for any conservatives to be supporting:
It also seems odd that Cameron, a self-proclaimed Tory, is strongly supportive of current Liberal Party minister of foreign affairs Stefane Dion (who, supported by his dog Kyoto [Protocol], was also Liberal Party leader during the 2008 federal election), who was recently criticized for not protecting freedom of the press when China's foreign minister attacked a Canadian journalist, and whose views on climate change impacts are bizarrely alarmist and wrong.
When interviewed about the appointment of Catherine McKenna, the Liberal Party minister of the environment and climate change, Cameron said "he's 'thrilled' by her appointment[.] ... [H]e and McKenna worked together at the Banff Forum. 'I consider her a friend'." Cameron also tweeted that McKenna and her Liberal Party chief of staff Marlo Raynolds will "make a great team."
Writing at Troy Media soon after Raynolds's appointment, Michelle Stirling-Anosh from the Friends of Science Society had the following to say:
The elevation of failed Liberal candidate and former Pembina Institute Executive Director Marlo Raynolds to chief of staff to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna raised a lot of eyebrows in Alberta. It should in the rest of Canada, too.
It was, after all, Raynold who co-authored a June 4, 2008 op-ed entitled "Canada's Reputation Tarnished by Tar Sands," which launched the derogatory but inaccurate term "dirty oil."
Stirling-Anosh goes on to detail a number of other equally problematic positions and linkages held by Cameron's friend Raynolds.
With friends like these influencing, and in many ways controlling, the Conservative Party, who needs enemies? In fact, as the months go by after the October 2015 election, it looks more and more as if the supposedly anti-Liberal components of the Conservative Party doth protest too much, and that these two parties may be – at least partially – joined at the hip.
To a lesser extent, we've seen the same problems in the United States, what with Republican Hank Paulson's "Risky Business Project," co-chaired with Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer.
Troubled times ahead if these are the voices of conservatism.