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Letter: Don’t be tricked by populist rhetoric

"Beware the populists who want you to believe that someone (Justin Trudeau) is limiting your personal and economic freedom, and profiting from it."
bc canada gas prices
"Complaining about gas taxes is the kind of myopic understanding of energy and climate systems that might bring us Woodfibre LNG, a tragedy that can still be averted by bold climate targets, global energy markets and local protest," writes a Whistler resident and chair of the BC Greens.

How catchy the populist slogans we are treated to these days! (“Letter: Of taxation and term limits,” Pique, April 28)! Too bad they’re false. Even the Canadian Taxpayers Federation acknowledges that of the 45 cents per litre we pay in gas taxes, only the hated five-per-cent GST (currently 10 cents/litre) is on a percentage basis. Some of the others: a 10-cent carbon tax for a livable climate, and if you live in Metro Vancouver, an 18.5-cent tax for public transit (disallowed by the provincial government for the Sea to Sky, but that’s another story).

Complaining about gas taxes is the kind of myopic understanding of energy and climate systems that might bring us Woodfibre LNG, a tragedy that can still be averted by bold climate targets, global energy markets and local protest. The UN Secretary-General says that the “dangerous radicals” are now countries that increase their production of fossil fuels, and that investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is “moral and economic madness.”

Thankfully, after decades of stalling, we will now move quickly to electrification of small vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells for large ones, so we won’t be needing to complain about gas prices much longer. Maybe we should focus our attention on solutions, like local and regional transit? Clearly, the neo- con strategy of hiding public transit service provision behind the screen of a third-party contractor is not serving Sea to Sky residents. Three months into this spectacular abdication of responsibility by the NDP government and BC Transit, and still no one is publicly accountable for labour negotiations. Meanwhile, people and the climate continue to suffer.

Beware the populists who want you to believe that someone (Justin Trudeau) is limiting your personal and economic freedom, and profiting from it. There is misinformation out there, and there is information that is obsolete, or has been thoroughly debunked. Please, view your media feed with a critical eye, and don’t be tricked by trite rhetoric that plays up fear and mistrust.

Jeremy Valeriote, Chair, BC Green Party // Whistler