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GOLDSTEIN: Does Guilbeault read his reports before publishing them?


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Does the federal Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault, know what is in his own plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada?

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He denies a Toronto Sun column by Kris Sims, British Columbia director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, that his government is planning a new pickup truck surtax.

“This so-called truck levy does not exist,” Guilbeault said, insisting it was merely a suggestion contained in a March 21 report from the government’s “net zero advisory committee.” federal government, not government policy, and the Trudeau government has no intention of implementing it.

“It’s fear, plain and simple.”

First, Sims did not say the tax existed. She said the government plans to implement it.

Second, the recommendation is not just contained in the advisory committee’s report, as if it were a completely separate document that has nothing to do with the Trudeau government’s plans to reduce emissions.

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It is included verbatim — in fact, the entire 28-page net zero report is included as “appendix 3” (i.e. an addendum to a document) — in the Guilbeault on Canada’s “2030 Emissions Reduction Plan” which the minister himself released on March 29.

Given that the recommendations of the advisory committee were released on March 21 and Guilbeault’s report was released on March 29 and included the report of the advisory committee, it is evident that this was a coordinated action.

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The net zero advisory council was appointed last year by then-Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, described as expert advisers to the Trudeau government.

In “welcoming” their report on March 21, Guilbeault said their advice “will be reflected in Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan to be released at the end of the month.”

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Guilbeault wrote in the foreword to this 271-page plan from his own ministry released on March 29 that:

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am pleased to present Canada’s first emissions reduction plan under Canada’s Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act. The plan outlines the next steps as we step up our fight against climate change and bring lasting economic prosperity to Canada.

On page 192, the report quotes advice from the net zero council:

“Expand Canada’s existing green levy (excise tax) on gas-guzzling vehicles to include other types of ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, such as pickup trucks. A sliding scale for the implementation of this green levy should be developed based on the emissions produced by the different vehicles. »

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Guilbeault now says the Trudeau government has no intention of implementing this new pickup truck tax. Good to know.

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But it raises the question of what other recommendations has the government rejected in what Guilbeault described as the Trudeau government’s 2030 plan to cut emissions?

It says, for example, that Canada’s oil and gas sector will need to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2030.

Is this still the Trudeau government’s plan or is there a new target that we don’t yet know?

The “green levy” referred to by the Trudeau government in its own plan to reduce Canada’s emissions by 2030 is nothing new.

It was introduced by the Harper government in 2007 and imposes additional fees on buyers of vehicles that the government says are gas guzzlers, ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.

It was perfectly reasonable for Sims to write that the Trudeau government was planning a new pickup truck tax, based on a recommendation from its hand-picked experts, included in a 271-page report by Guilbeault from his own department, on the government’s plan to meet its 2030 emissions targets.

lgoldstein@postmedia.com

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