We now have Hansard for the first week of 2013 in the House of Commons. Each day, there is a 45-minute Question Period. You’ve seen this. It generally gets the most media attention of any daily event on the Hill.
But just before Question Period gets underway (at 2:15 pm ET M-TH and 11:15 am on Fri) there is a 15-minute period for Members’ Statements. This period is provided for under Standing Order 31 so these statements are often referred to on the Hill as “S.O. 31s.” The Conservatives mostly, but exclusively, are now using this period to bludgeon their opponents. (See my earlier post for more explanations: “The evolution of the SO31: From happy thoughts to political mud fights”) Used to be that Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals were the objects of the Conservative SO 31 ire. No more. Here’s what those of us who are paid to watch that 15-minute period of SO 31s have been suffering through for the first five days of this year in Parliament (and have every expectation of suffering through for many more days to come). I’ve excerpted just the juicy “carbon tax” bits …
Four of the nine statements delivered by Conservative MPs sounded very similar:
… the NDP whose economic plan is a $21 billion job-killing carbon tax.Mr. Speaker, the NDP members have been busy during their six-week break from Parliament scheming to implement a job-killing $21 billion carbon tax upon the people of Canada. The NDP’s proposed carbon tax would kill jobs and raise the price of gas, groceries, electricity and everything else. While the NDP has been concentrating on implementing its carbon tax, … People can count on our government to stand up against the NDP’s job-killing $21 billion carbon tax.
Mr. Speaker, on this first sitting day of 2013, I would like to wish you and all members of this House a happy new year. As Canadians look forward to 2013 with hope and optimism, a dark cloud looms on the horizon. A new $21 billion job-killing carbon tax is still on the table for the NDP. In fact, the NDP leader has been clear on his plans to impose this massive job-killing carbon tax. … This NDP job-killing carbon tax would raise the price of everything for Canadian families, including gas, groceries and electricity … I stand firmly with my Conservative colleagues against the NDP leader’s job-killing carbon tax.
… the NDP’s $21 billion carbon tax. We all know that the NDP leader is planning to generate billions through a carbon tax that would increase the price of everything for Canadian families, including gas, groceries and electricity. … We will continue to oppose the NDP leader’s $21 billion carbon tax scheme.
Three of nine today.
… the NDP is proposing a massive $21 billion job-killing carbon tax that would increase the cost of gas, groceries and home heating. …
… the NDP wants to impose a $21 billion job-killing carbon tax on Canadians. The NDP’s $21 billion carbon tax would have a devastating impact on Canadian families because it would raise the price of everything from gas to groceries to electricity and all other goods and services.… the NDP solution is a new $21 billion job-killing carbon tax…. The NDP’s job-killing carbon tax will raise the price of everything from gas to groceries to electricity. He said that their solution will build a more prosperous Canada, but that is code for “the NDP’s $21 billion job-killing carbon tax will raise billions on the backs of hard-working Canadians” . . .The NDP’s job-killing carbon tax is simply bad for Canada.
Just 2 of 9 today on the “job-killing carbon tax”:
… the NDP is focused on implementing a $21 billion job-killing carbon tax that would ruin employment opportunities in our natural resources sector. Our government will keep fighting the NDP’s job-killing carbon tax …
… the NDP is the party that has a $21 billion carbon tax in its policy documents, in black and white, and yet its members spent the fall denying it here in the House. We will continue to expose the NDP’s $21 billion carbon tax that would raise the price of everything, including—
…the NDP leader and his caucus and their plan for a $21 billion dangerous carbon tax that would kill jobs and hurt the economy.
2 for 9
… the leader of the NDP and his party do not share these same priorities. Their priority is a $21-billion carbon tax that would hurt the economy and hurt Canadian families. Canadians do not want to pay more for their gas, groceries, and electricity. They reject the NDP’s hidden tax scheme. When will the NDP leader come clean and admit that his $21 billion carbon tax would hurt Canada’s strong economic growth and raise the cost of all goods and services consumed by Canadians?
What the NDP leader failed to realize is that while he was calling on us to do more to help make jobs available, his cornerstone policy would kill thousands of jobs and put hardworking Canadians out of work. The NDP leader’s $21 billion job-killing carbon tax would raise the price of everything from gas to groceries to electricity. His job-killing carbon tax would stop economic growth and put so many Canadians out of work. Canadian students deserve better than the NDP leader’s $21 billion carbon tax that would kill jobs and economic growth.
No doubt, by now, dear reader, you’d like to know more about this “$21 billion carbon tax” proposed by the NDP. Of course you do. You’ll want to review this post, then — Politics of Carbon Pricing — where you may be surprised to see that the NDP proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its 2011 election platform looks very much like what the Harper Conservatives themselves proposed in 2008.
Now, about those “job-killing payroll tax” hikes that the Harper Conservatives introduced last year, this year and will again next year …