ONPC Leader Brown needs to drop carbon tax & be conservative

patrick-brown 1030Every time I read about ONPC Leader Patrick Brown, I cringe because I know he is going to put his foot in his mouth yet again.

Yes, I know Ontarians need to get rid of the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals. Their climate change, cap and trade fiasco is destroying us drip by drip. By all means, we need to take care of our environment. But, for heavens sake, is it too much to ask that our PC Leader worry less about carbon emissions and more about businesses leaving Ontario because of sky high hydro rates?

Yet, Brown keeps digging a hole by endlessly talking about he favours a carbon tax. (H/T Jack’s Newswatch). Well, here is my personal message to him on that topic.

Dear Mr. Brown:

I would dearly love to be able to promote you every day on this blog (and Twitter) but I can’t bring myself to do so yet because you sound so Liberal Lite. In fact, you seem so intent on getting the media to like you and give you decent coverage, you are selling out the soul of the Ontario PC Party.

Face it, in the eyes of the mainstream media, you are a conservative. No, it doesn’t matter if you are a progressive conservative. Just that you are the enemy. Yup, just like the U.S. media hates Donald J. Trump, the Ontario media hates you. But, just as the voters in the U.S. ignored the trashing of Trump in the media, we Ontario conservatives know how to do the same.

Look, I once was involved in the ONPC Party, in fact I was involved in it for decades as your pal Rick Dykstra will tell you. He was once my MP and I blogged positively about him for years. I also worked as an EA and Communications Advisor for a PC MPP during the first Mike Harris mandate. So, I know you have to come to grips with not being liked by the Toronto Star.

The crux of the matter is that the only people you need to like you are Ontario Conservatives and those voters who know Ontarian needs a change in government and will vote PC for that change.

In other words, don’t even try to get the progressives to vote for you. They won’t. However, what we need to know now — a year before the 2018 vote — is what your key messages will be and how those messages will separate you from the Liberals. In particular, we will need to know that you have not only cancelled the cap and trade program, but dropped the notion of a carbon tax!

As such, I look forward to a new Ontario Government run by a PC leader — which stands for Progressive Conservative, not Politically Correct.


21 thoughts on “ONPC Leader Brown needs to drop carbon tax & be conservative

  1. I posted previously about Patrick Brown interfering in the nomination process in 2 Eastern Ont ridings; 4 middle-aged white conservative males were banned or dissuaded from running. In my region an aggressive take-over of the association resulted in the nomination of a urban, Muslim woman with no ties whatever to the rural riding, aided by head office eliminating all her competitors. Granted, she may turn out to be a fine MPP, but she already shopped around some adjacent ridings, and since this is one of the safest PC seats anywhere, it was an easy decision. I am left enormously disenchanted with this lack of rigorous debate and the selection of candidates dictated by head office. Were one of these banned candidates to run as an independent, I would be sorely inclined to listen to their program.

    Brown seems determined to say nothing, do nothing that might make the Toronto media label him “extreme”. Still in doing this he projects the image of a no-nothing party, one that is simply Liberals with a new face. Last time around, I wished for Tim Hudak to make a determined case for the fiasco and cost of Liberals Green Energy program; (the AG $37B electricity over run figure was well known to analysts then), but it never happened. Brown should make carbon tax rejection and the whole Liberal climate change policy his campaign theme, especially when there exists ample evidence and analysis to support a change. He has boxed himself in from day 1 on this and is terrified to be called a denier or similar pejorative by media. Sometimes leadership requires taking a stand and offering a new direction.


    1. I hear you Martin. I too have watched the central interference in relation to Hudak’s old riding in Grimsby. The thing is, we can’t cut off our noses to spite our faces because we just have to get rid of the ON Liberals. That said, it sure would be nice if he gave us enough meat to know he stands for some conservative principles.


      1. Agreed I should and likely will hold my nose and vote for his designated candidate to ensure a change; but I do not like being taken for granted and allowing the “Real” campaign to take place in GTA.


  2. I think in Ontario you can essentially divide voters into three categories at least relative to how conservatives should view them. 30% conservative base, 15% swing voters, and 55% progressive voters. For the first one they are going to vote conservative no matter what and while being too liberal may anger some what matters is how people vote not whether they do with enthusiasm or reluctantly. The latter one which is 55% will never vote Conservative so no point wasting much time on them, but don’t anger them so much they coalesce behind one party as we need that vote to split at least somewhat. So it really comes down to the 15% who sometimes vote conservative and sometimes liberal since if the Tories get around their floor of 30%, then we are looking at a weak opposition of around 20-30 seats, but if at their ceiling of 45%, then anywhere from 70-90 seats depending on the splits on the left thus a solid majority. Most of the 15% swing voters aren’t very ideological and care little about left vs. right, they care most about which leader will help improve things in their own life, thus why I’ve said the focus should be on pocket book issues.

    Patrick Brown maybe is a little overly cautious, but I think he understands Ontario is a fairly centrist province and realistically you cannot stray too far from the centre in either direction and win. On carbon taxes, unfortunately as long as Trudeau is PM, it’s either implement one or have one forced on us so better to implement a revenue neutral one whereby the revenue raised can be used to cut income and corporate taxes. The top combined marginal rate in Ontario is now 53.53% which is one of the highest in the developed world so this needs to come down without increasing the deficit. BC’s carbon tax which is revenue neutral has worked relatively well and was done under Gordon Campbell who was quite fiscally conservative while premier. Off course Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec’s plans are disasters and one’s like those should be avoided. For me I am more in favour of a revenue neutral carbon tax since I want lower income and corporate taxes without going into deficit so its either that or raising the HST and the latter would be a lot more politically risky IMHO. Even though Wynne says she will balance the budget, that will be a one time due to sale of Hydro one shares and not a real balanced budget since without cuts or tax hikes, the budget will go back into deficit the year after next election and as a fiscal conservative I do not support running deficits outside of recessions.

    As for my blog, I hope to have it up by month’s end, but right now busy trying to find a new place to live in Vancouver while have some major trips this year in my year of transition, but still will try to blog when I can. I know unfortunately blogging seems to be less common as twitter has replaced it even though you cannot see much in 140 characters.


    1. Around here Miles, no one else favours a carbon tax in any shape or form. Brown could join Wall and sue the federal gov’t. The other issue is there is nothing neutral about the ON Liberals.

      Your numbers/assumptions are off. When I worked for the Harris gov’t, he won two majorities with conservative and middle of the road voters. None that I recall were progressives. He won 44% of the vote because most of the GTA voted for him. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_general_election,_1995

      Unfortunately, those voters seem to have disappeared because the Liberals bought them off re gas plants (Mississauga and Scarborough).

      What Brown is in danger of losing is a lot of the folks who comment here — the core 30% conservative vote.


    2. Regarding your blogging Miles, what you are going to find is it is VERY time consuming to do the research, the writing, and the constant follow up re comments. And, that it takes a very long time to get known.


      1. Agreed it is probably time consuming, but I still want to give it a try. I’ve always said its better to try and fail then not try at all. As for revenue neutral, certainly Wynne’s plan is anything but and will definitely be bad news for Ontario. If our economy does do well, it will be due to things like low dollar not because anything she has done and it’s probably fair to say however 2017 turns out for Ontario, it would be better if we had a different premier. As for the conservative vote, I just took the election results of the last 50 years and found by and large the Ontario PCs and federal Tories in Ontario with few exceptions fall between 30-45%. Off course there are many factors that determine election results not just ideological position. Unfortunately charisma and looks I feel nowadays play far too big a role over any substantive policy.

        I think in terms of Mike Harris’ ideas being a tougher sell, my guess is generational. I’ve found pre-boomers, those born in 1945 or earlier tend to be quite fiscally conservative and believe very much on living within their means (Either they or their parents lived through WWII and the Great Depression so understand the value of living within one’s means). By contrast millennials are the opposite since a lot of their parents spoiled them as children, so they’ve come to expect the government to provide everything for them. And during Harris’ reign, millennials weren’t old enough to vote while pre-boomers were more numerous. Not sure if this is the reason but that is my best guess. I guess will find out next election, although my guess is once Brown opens the books he will discover the fiscal situation is much worse than expected and that will provide the cover to make bigger spending cuts.


      2. Miles, good analysis but I don’t agree. Saying it was a generational thing in 1995 is easy to say but not indicative of my reality as my grandchildren, all in their 20s and 30s now vote conservative. Mike Harris won because of his messaging that Ontario needed a common sense revolution. His key messages were: (1) Get rid of the NDP deficit, (2) welfare reform (workfare & learnfare), (3) reducing the size of government, (4) integrating school boards and reducing the stipends of trustees, and (5)ending photo radar.

        I was there as a Campaign Communications Chair (which is why I remember the messaging so well). Age had little to do with the outcome or what voters said at the door.


    3. Another thought crossed my mind. I used to consider myself a “progressive conservative.” I no longer do because you can’t be both in this day and age. Progressives have a totally different mind set than they used to and they hate anything conservative. So, count me out on that front.


      1. Hi Sandy, many famous conservative statesmen have been proud to have their names associated with progressive–conservatism, including Benjamin Disraeli, Stanley Baldwin, Winston Churchill, David Cameron, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower and the federal PC prime ministers who have represented Canada’s conservative movement prior to Stephen Harper.

        Progressive need not be a dirty word. Nor is—as is claimed by some hard-right conservatives—progressive conservatism an oxymoron. Progressivism may very well be corrosive when deployed by left-wing parties, but that need not be an automatic consequence. Progressive conservatism incorporates progressive policies alongside conservative policies. It stresses the importance of a social safety net to deal with poverty, support of limited redistribution of wealth along with government regulation to regulate markets in the interests of both consumers and producers.

        Furthermore, this is an opportune time to claim the natural ideological position of a progressive conservative, for the Grits have vacated the middle—both left and right sides—in favour of the mid-left of the spectrum. In the last Ontario election, the Liberal campaign platform was noticeably to the left of the socialist NDP—I never thought I’d see that day.


      2. I agree Russ. The problem is that some Red Tories are sounding more like the Liberals than they are conservatives. Those men you mentioned were not wishywashy while the political correctness bug has changed the dynamic in some of today’s “conservative” politicians. I mean, calling Leitch names because she believes in vetting newcomers is, in my view, extreme. All of us, aside from Aboriginal peoples, are the children or grandchildren of immigrants. I have seen the form my Scottish grandparents had to fill out in 1912. I also know they had to be interviewed in Scotland. Whereas the refugees from Syria that went through the UN were not vetted by Canadian officials. That’s all Leitch wants. Nothing racist as Raitt implied.

        The bottom line is that the so-called Red Tories in the Leadership race are simply sounding like whiners. I like Leitch but actually am behind Andrew Scheer because I believe he is the only one who can beat Trudeau. Young, good looking, a real conservative, family man, and one who is fluent in French. But, unless he stops the political correctness, I will not be writing about him here.

        In fact, I am so discouraged by both the ONPC Leader and CPC powers that be, I am “this” close to packing in my blog. At my age I simply don’t need the aggravation. I never watch Canadian TV anymore and am enjoying the Fox News Network instead and I know millions of my fellow Canadians are doing the same thing. That should be a warning to the Red Tories who are sounding more Liberal than Tory.

        End of rant.


  3. Remembering how CBC’s Air Farce poked fun a Preston Manning with “I love that word Reform”, I hate that word progressive, it’s not a fit with Conservatives today and maybe we need to look at doing what Harper did federally, drop it to avoid any confusion. It would also hit home to the leader and voters we are Conservatives, not half baked Liberals.
    As for Brown, he’s what we have to get rid of the mess we are in, we have to work with him and for him,we have no other choice as Conservatives in Ontario to get rid of the worst government this province has ever had.
    I’ve never been so disillusioned with politics.


    1. The thing is Liz, I still haven’t heard what Brown would do differently. He is likely afraid to say this early what he would do. But, remember, the Common Sense Revolution came out a year before the June 1995 election. And, yes, it was trashed by the media and liberals. But, the silent majority of Ontarians “were” listening. Right now, Brown seems afraid of his shadow. And, to think, we got him instead of Christine Elliott because some felt Elliott was too progressive. Sheesh!


  4. I feel your frustration with the current Ontario PC leader and share the better part of it. To be realistic, however, what good is it for him to simply cancel the cap and trade scheme if the federal Grits have a national policy which would then result in an imposed carbon tax scheme of some sort? Wouldn’t it be better to keep a made-in-Ontario carbon tax and reduce the provincial portion of the sales tax/income tax to compensate and make the tax really revenue neutral?


    1. I hear you Russ. I agree that, at the very least, he should make the carbon tax revenue neutral. The Cap and Trade is just a money grab and a complete waste of money.


  5. I alluded above to ample evidence that the man-made carbon influenced climate change is not settled science, indeed there are credible scientists who still have an open mind on the theory. One example is Judith Currie, hounded from her position at Georgia Tech last week for being outside the dogma on the subject.
    Whatever happens in Ont and Canada, it is clear that the US is on a 180 degree opposite tack; the new congress and administration have no intention of adhering to the Paris accord, let alone taxing citizens to finance some UN administered fund. I expect others, China, India, Brazil etc to likewise pay lip service to Paris. Environmental policies obviously have to be coordinated between Can-Us to have any reason for existence. Can produces less than 2% of world carbon emissions now, mostly to heat houses and transport food, to coordinate policy could be advocated, but to act alone when our competitors do the opposite, makes no sense whatever, Has the pendulum on the climate change agenda reached centre?

    Patrick Brown could make some of these valid points and put forward a policy which would have a more rational approach to climatology, but he has come down strong on the man-made theory. He could at least guarantee the present tax would be revenue neutral, something I don’t expect any day from Liberals.


    1. If you look at the modern genesis of AGW, it traces right back to one Maurice Strong. AGW is a hypothesis which is supported by computer models, not real world data. Maurice and his ilk had/have and agenda and controlling the worlds life blood is not the end game but the beginning.

      AGW is not nearly as widely supported as the left would like you to believe, and the idea that those who do support it are doing so on a scientific basis versus a financially beneficial basis is a foolish notion.

      Is there something about scientists that says they cannot be political ideologues? David Suzuki sure is as is Bill Nye.

      Brad Trost is currently the only candidate that has come out and called the fraud for the fraud it is.

      Every letter or email I get from candidates in the federal Conservative leadership race, I reply to and advise them that I will only support the candidate(s) that denounce the fraud of climate change.

      Voters do not vote for half measures – so trying to deflect away from the core argument, conservative politicians are now saying they would abolish the carbon tax.

      So why do we have a carbon tax? To save the planet because of the false claims of AGW. So rather than try to tiptoe around the issue – just denounce it. You are not going to win any voters by being disingenuous.

      And treat the media with the same contempt they treat conservatives.


  6. I have read and studied enough about the AGW issue to understand that the science is not settled – and to the contrary, the emerging consensus is that there is no “crisis” at all. The “crisis” has always been confined to the projections in models not actual measured temperature – which shows no warming for the last 18 years.

    The breaking news last year was that a mathematician working with a climate scientist found the algorithm used in the models for determining sensitivity feedback from CO2 was wrong – wrong by a factor of 3 to 4 times. Showing CO2’s effect was grossly over estimated and the real projected temps aligned with the correct math formula, show temps within historic norms. In fact the corrected data shows you could increase CO2 output 3 to 4 times what it is now and there would be little effect.

    This paper has been peer reviewed and will be published in a major science journal this year, essentially ending the “crisis” over CO2.

    That said, I want to see this reflected in politics on the right immediately – I want conservative leaders to admit the crisis is bunk and taxing has zero effect on the climate – if they don’t they have no credibility as a statesman and reveal themselves to be notheing more than another slimy opportunist.


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