P.E.I. premier endorses federal Liberals so-called green shift

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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CHARLOTTETOWN - P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz is endorsing a controversial plan by federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion that will increase taxes on home heating fuel while cutting income tax to offset the increase.
The green shift, as the Liberals are calling it, is aimed at discouraging pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
"I think green shift is the way to go," Ghiz said in an interview. "I think it's a good idea, but what we have to do is make sure it doesn't hurt jurisdictions like Prince Edward Island.
"What we have to do as a provincial government is make sure that we work with whatever party is in power federally to make sure that when that tax shift does take place, that seniors have more money, that low income Islanders do have more money."
But the Island's Conservative energy critic, Mike Currie, said the green shift will take up to $26 million more annually out of the pockets of Islanders. He said that's because the plan will push up the price for home heating oil, propane and diesel.
His staff at the Opposition office crunched the numbers.
Currie said the green shift will push up the price of home heating fuel - already at records highs - by another 11.3 cents per litre; it will drive the price of propane up by another 6.1 cents per litre; and it will increase the price of diesel, which is as high as $1.60 per litre at full service stations on the Island, by another seven cents per litre.
Gasoline would be exempt from the green shift's carbon tax.
"I think that this guy (Ghiz) is running this government off the seat of his pants," said Currie, who has spent 20 years in the oil business.
"I really get frustrated with how they are running government. I don't think him or his staff gave this five minutes' notice."
Currie said he's hearing every day how Islanders are already suffering from the record-high price of fuels, including home heating fuel. He said the green shift will only add to the burden.
The federal Liberals claim that any increases in fuel costs will be offset by tax cuts.
"I just can't believe that the premier is not placing Islanders first."
Islanders can expect to hear a lot more about the green shift in the coming days.
Dion will be in Prince Edward Island on Friday for a town hall meeting on his green shift plan.

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, CHARLOTTETOWN

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Recent comments

  • R
    January 18, 2010 - 10:18

    It is called the Green Shaft . Someone should ask Ghiz how much GHGs will the CARBON TAX on Everything will actually reduce. Ask him that question and hear what he says. HE WONT HAVE AN ANSWER! Neither does Stephanie Dion! Islanders should reject this BS TAX ON EVERYTHING!

  • Bill
    January 18, 2010 - 09:55

    So what Ghiz is saying is that he's in favour of the plan as long as it doesn't negatively affect P.E.I. . . . . which of course it will, in a BIG way. Ghiz's statement could just as easily be spoken by any politician in any jurisdiction. What garbage!!

  • Al
    January 18, 2010 - 09:45

    Message to poster, RM:

    Are you reading from Stephen Harper's Conservative script book. Here are the directions: in a rude and juvenile way, discredit Stephane Dion and the Liberal Party's Green Shift plan. Repeat the phrase as often as you can: Green Shaft ... Green Shaft ... Green Shaft ...(grow up, you guys!). Then, try to incorporate this phrase into any letter to the editor or call in to radio stations: Stephane Dion's Tax on Everything , etc., etc., .

    I'm telling you, the Conservatives are starting to remind me more and more of boarding school bullies...if you dare to come up with original and bold ideas that capture the attention and the imagination of the people, then look out: the Conservatives are going to wait for you after school and make you pay for it. They are very angry people!


  • Al
    January 18, 2010 - 09:42

    Mike Currie, Conservative, and 20 years in the OIL business, would, of course, criticize any environmental initiative and anyone who would support it. It's in Currie's best interest for all of us to continue our wreckless dependency on oil. What does Currie care? It's all about profit margins, right?! In his corporate world, money trumps environment every time.

    A. Neumann