Thursday, July 16, 2009

One premier’s winner is another tax-payer’s boondoggle

Those who believe in the folly of Dalton McGuinty’s latest flawed economic policy—the tax money give-away to those who purchase GM-made electric cars—should surf on over to Blue Like You blog and read the Dalton still cherry picking post there. Joanne has summarized reactions from industry leaders who are not thrilled at the premier’s lopsided approach to helping Ontario’s rapidly eroding industrial base.

Stephen Beatty, the managing director of Toyota Canada Inc., has good reason to question how long Mr. McGuinty plans to prop up General Motors. I too question this blatant favouring of GM and its over-compensated unions at the expense of ordinary Canadians who wonder how they’ll make next month’s mortgage payments, never mind buying a $40,000 electric automobile.

GM Canada—the latest subsidiary of Ontario’s and Canada’s governments—understandably welcomes Premier Dalton McGuinty’s announcement to provide incentives for consumers who purchase their electric vehicles in Ontario. Says Neil Macdonald, vice president, corporate and environmental affairs for General Motors of Canada:

“With this bold initiative, the Premier is taking a significant step in positioning Ontario as a leading jurisdiction in the adoption of clean electric vehicles like the revolutionary Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle.”

But GM’s marketing hype goes over the top with this from Neil Macdonald:

“These game changing electric vehicles offer consumers the opportunity to virtually eliminate their vehicle-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The effective GHG emissions of these vehicles will be less than 1/15th of the emissions of a comparably sized conventional vehicle, even when including the GHG emissions related to producing the electricity to charge these vehicles.”

This is a questionable claim. How can he know how much “GHG emissions related to producing the electricity to charge these vehicles” will be produced when no one else seems to know how future electricity will be generated in Ontario? With the McGuinty government’s track record for voracity, I’d not be surprised if they didn’t suddenly decide on more coal or other fossil-fuel power plants to meet new electricity needs.

I have a really bad feeling about this whole thing. I smell a tax increase in the air—sniff, sniff, yes, lots of tax increases.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. I wish the McGuinty would make up his mind. First he wants us to use less electricity, then he wants us to drive electric cars.

  2. As both The U.S. and Canada migrate toward a soft government-industry fascism, we'll see more "private" companies hooking on to the government-derived gravy train. This train, by the way, is paid for by the little guys. Us.

    This soft-fascism is independent of Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Democratic, Republican Green Parties. Where's there money to be made principles go bye-bye.