Tzeporah Berman leading the climate policy charge

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Tzeporah Berman of the climate change advocacy group PowerUp Canada struck a devastating blow against the New Democratic Party’s ill-advised opposition to the BC carbon tax yesterday with a letter pointing out NDP leader Carole James’ hypocrisy on the issue.

Berman, whose criticism of the NDP’s position was featured in a line story in the Vancouver Sun Friday, began the letter by saying to James, “I feel deeply betrayed by the BC NDP Platform released last week and your flip-flops on green economy and climate policy. You are playing partisan politics with our children’s future.”

Berman made the case for the efficacy of a carbon tax and noted, with the following quotes, that NDP leader James had also once been an avowed carbon tax fan:

[We will] apply carbon taxes to motivate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by ensuring that prices of fossil fuels reflect the environmental and social costs of their production and use, while building in “just transition” measures to minimize impacts on low income households.” NDP’s Sustainable BC Environmental Plan, February 2007

I think a revenue-neutral carbon tax that really looks at supporting low- and middle-income families, that actually is phased in so people can manage, that provides them with options to make change, then I think it’s worth looking at.” – Carole James, February 14, 2008, Voice of BC.

[We recommend] effective climate change initiatives that apply carbon taxes to motivate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.” (http://www.buildingsustainablebc.ca/movie)

You have to go to a carbon tax. My sense is it’s the only way to go. If we truly believe that the market is the way to change behaviour, both market behaviour and individual behaviour, it’s the way to do it.” – Bob Simpson, November 1, 2007, Voice of BC.

Some New Democrats have been trying to paint Berman, and anyone else who criticizes the NDP carbon tax position, as partisan supporters of the Liberal Party, a transparently desperate attempt to move the conversation from policy to politics. But Berman is not campaigning for the Liberals. She’s saying, “Vote strategically away from NDP unless they change their position quickly.”

Sounds like good advice – for the voters AND for the NDP.

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