Liberal leader Stéphane Dion told his prospective coalition partners, or maybe they told him, that the Green Shift would not be part of the coalition government’s policies. Interestingly, in his televised address on the evening of December 4, Dion mentioned that the Green Party supports the coalition. The book Hot Air was visible in the bookcase over Dion’s shoulder. Hot Air was co-authored by SFU professor Mark Jaccard, who, as I noted last week, also authored the British Columbia carbon tax.
The hallmark policy in the Green Shift was a $10-per-tonne carbon tax.
If the Green Shift, and all vestiges of it, were to be absent from the coalition’s policies, then why did Dion even mention the Green Party in his address? The Greens’ support is irrelevant to the current Parliamentary maneuvering—they don’t have any federal seats. Green leader Elizabeth May’s speculation that she could become the coalition’s environment minister via a Senate appointment seemed crazy when she first floated it. But a former Green insider tells me he suspects a Senate appointment for May has been in the cards since Dion and May agreed not to run candidates in each other’s ridings.
If this is true, then Dion’s address, which many have laughed off as amateurish, could have been injected with deliberate symbolism. Having told his coalition partners in the NDP and Bloc that the Green Shift was out, Dion might have been telling those in the know that it was very much in.
Surely I am not the only one who noticed this. Liberals who wish there never was a Green Shift (i.e., all of them) cannot have failed to notice. Dion’s attempted green putsch, not the lousy production values in his video address, is why he will likely be ousted as Opposition Leader before May 2009.