Cathy McLeod thinks she sees a duck

Conservative MP Cathy McLeod tries to explain how you know when a cap-and-trade system is actually a carbon tax.

Cap + Trade does not gen 21B in govt revenues. #NDP clearly has a carbon tax outlined in 2011 platform. Looks + walks like a duck it is…

Let’s explain this again. There are two ways to operate a cap-and-trade system: either the government sells pollution permits to companies and the government gets the revenue or the government gives away the permits to companies and the companies get the revenue from selling the permits to each other. Cap-and-trade could very well generate government revenue or it could not. Either way, a price on carbon is established.

But again, by the current logic of Ms. McLeod’s own government, it doesn’t even matter that the NDP expected their 2011 proposal to generate government revenue because, again, according to Ms. McLeod’s own government, anything that establishes a price on carbon is equivalent to a carbon tax. Ms. McLeod and other Conservatives can point to the booking of revenue in the NDP’s 2011 platform if they like, but their interest in the question of revenue has already been rendered moot by their fellow Conservatives.

Ms. McLeod, for the record, was first elected, as a Conservative, in 2008. That year, the party’s policy declaration included support for “a domestic cap-and-trade system that will allow firms to generate credits by reducing smog-causing pollutants.” The party platform she ran on included a promise to pursue a continental cap-and-trade system. She was a Conservative MP when that pledge was repeated in that year’s Throne Speech. She was a Conservative MP a year later when Jim Prentice announced an offset system that would “generate real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions … by establishing a price on carbon.” She was a Conservative MP when the Harper government claimed in December 2009 to be “working in collaboration with the provinces and territories to develop a cap and trade system that will ultimately be aligned with the emerging cap and trade program in the United States.” She was a Conservative MP in May 2011 when Peter Kent allowed that a continental cap-and-trade system could be something to consider in the future. And she is presently a Conservative MP in a Conservative government that refuses to definitively rule out implementing a cap-and-trade system if the United States is prepared to do likewise.

That’s a lot of quacking to account for.

Here again is everything you need to know about the Conservatives’ carbon tax farce.