Much like Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, Canada and Australia are experiencing, ‘the best of times, the worst of times, the age of wisdom, and the age of foolishness’.
Yet, it is not my word you have to take for it, it's Stephen Harper's.
Speaking at the Menzies Research Centre in Sydney Australia, the former Prime Minister admitted that currently it is the greatest time to be alive in Australia and Canada, although warned that such prosperity may not last as both countries face similar issues and could easily cross into “the edge of dysfunction”.
Being asked by the former Liberal Australian Prime Minister John Howard what Harper meant by the edge of dysfunction, Harper stated,
“My general conclusion is that the populace are largely right in their evaluation of the problems (but) their solutions are another matter.”
And on the surface it’s unclear to see where Harper is coming from.
At a glance, Canada and Australia appear to be distinctly different. The countries climate is the polar opposite, being a ‘Liberal’ in Australia means being a ‘Conservative’ in Canada and most importantly Canada is implementing an outdated Carbon Tax while Australia is rejoicing having removed their Carbon Tax half a decade ago.
Yet the question remains, what should Canada and Australia learn from one another? Or more importantly considering the Post Millennial’s audience, why is Canada implementing an outdated Carbon Tax, that Australia celebrated in axing?
After all it appears that Trudeau merely copied and pasted the Australian policy, as under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Act, Canada is now paying $20 per ton of carbon this year, which will rise to $50 per ton in 2022, while Australia was paying $20 per ton of carbon in 2012 under the Clean Energy Act of 2011.
The first lesson to be learned is the Carbon Tax hurts domestic families and increases their energy costs as it did in Australia. In Canada it is currently expected that the Carbon Tax will directly cost the average household around $2,569 by 2022, according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a think-tank that specializes in analyzing government taxes and their costs to the economy.
Yet Trudeau has offered family rebates in order to try and reduce the influence of said costs. Stating that 80 per cent of households in Ontario would be financially better off for the rebates. Which is humorous, considering former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard also had such a policy where lump sum cash bonuses to families were given, which just increased government expenditure and did not stop Australians from consuming more energy. What Trudeau and Gillard both forgot to mention is how this policy just increases government expenditure.
The second lesson to learn is compliance and enforcement of a Carbon Tax is costing Canada economic prosperity. As businesses have to spend more money in attempting to comply with the country’s new policies and procedures, hiring specialists to follow the regulation. In turn the government will have to spend more money ensuring companies are paying their fair share for the amount of energy produced, which will cause a larger government expenditure.
It is expected that over a five-year period $52 billion will be in lost economic activity according to a report from the Fraser Institute.
The third and final lesson is the Carbon Tax in both Australia and Canada has never ever been about making the environment better off, but all about virtue signalling.
While global warming may be an issue affecting both scenic countries, increasing the cost of living, increasing government expenditure and decreasing productivity is not the answer.
Alas, the funny thing is it’s not just Canada that doesn’t learn from Australia. Australia doesn’t learn from Australia, as the Greens party are looking to re-install a carbon tax if they form a coalition with the Australian Labor party pending the result of the next election.
Harper is right. Australia and Canada are truly at “the edge of dysfunction”.