GUNTER: Why isn’t O’Toole talking about Trudeau’s new emissions cap?

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What does Conservative leader Erin O’Toole think of Justin Trudeau’s “hard cap” on oil and gas sector emissions, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week at the UN climate conference in Glasgow, in Scotland ?

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I do not know. O’Toole did not share his thoughts. Not a word.

Put aside the anger and frustration Trudeau’s abrupt and arbitrary plan aroused among Conservative voters, especially in Western Canada. You would think that O’Toole could mean something – anything – to encourage or at least appease the main supporters.

Uh, uh.

But even if he hesitates to appear to flatter the West (as opposed to his preference for the Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa triangle), one would think that O’Toole might raise objections for purely economic reasons.

Canada’s energy sector represents 10 percent of our country’s total GDP and 25 percent of its exports. If Trudeau is determined to stifle oil and gas development by not allowing any expansion in the sector’s carbon emissions, from now on, one would think that O’Toole could at least ask how Trudeau is proposing to replace si big chunks of our economy and the tens of thousands of high paying jobs that will be lost under the Prime Minister’s fancy new plan.

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Nope.

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If we lose a quarter (or even only half of a quarter) of our exports, it will lower the price of the Canadian dollar. This, in turn, will drive up the price of what Canadians import, adding to the already rising inflation.

The loss of foreign and domestic investment in oil and gas will slow our economic growth as a nation. The increase in bankruptcies and layoffs will increase the cost of government payments to businesses and the unemployed.

Our standard of living will drop – across the country.

In the 10 years up to and including 2019, Canada’s energy sector paid $ 53 billion in taxes to Ottawa’s treasury alone. At a time when the Trudeau government seems determined to permanently increase federal spending by 40% per year, you must be wondering how it intends to finance this expansion without a robust oil industry?

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Or at least you might think O’Toole would be wondering that on behalf of taxpayers.

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The federal government has put in place what it calls a “just transition” plan that is supposed to help pay laid-off oil and gas workers to retrain for new jobs in the alternative energy economy. But how can Trudeau be so sure that installing solar panels and lubricating wind turbines will produce a new job for every old one eliminated? Or dollar-for-dollar income replacement?

He can not. And O’Toole should be at the forefront of pointing out the stupid thinking behind Trudeau’s plans.

But the Conservative leader is as far from the front as he can get.

And if the Trudeau government insists on shipments of new spending without even a fraction of the tax revenue to pay for it, the borrowing frenzy that Ottawa will have to continue will drive up the cost of borrowing until ordinary consumers can. no longer compete with the government. At this point, mortgages and consumer loans, credit cards and student debt will become extremely expensive for many middle-class Canadians.

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O’Toole should be outraged by Trudeau’s plan simply because he seeks to put the crushing burden of the Liberal climate plans on the backs of Western Canadians who have proven to be the Conservatives’ staunchest supporters.

But even if O’Toole thinks it’s good policy to abandon his loyalists in favor of gaining ground among moderates in central Canada, then why doesn’t he at least hammer Trudeau in on fiscal madness and economy of his dream of a “hard cap”?

O’Toole still seems married to the strategy that cost him the September election: to do nothing conservative. Adopt all liberal policies, just promise to implement them smarter and more effectively.

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