John Ivison: The Tories mark with allegations Trudeau intends to raise taxes and attack his "family fortune"


As they watched the daily questioning in the House of Commons on Tuesday, thoughts drifted to the eighth circle of Dante's hell – where horned demons would put the panderers through eternity deliberately exploiting the passions of others, sycophants were thrown in puddles of excrement for corrupting the tongue to play upon fears and desires, and the politicians were immersed in a lake of boiling as penance for their dark secrets.

I was shaken by this happy reverie of the conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, who launched into a refrain that was repeated by half a dozen members of the opposition, and this will be repeated with metronomical regularity by all conservative candidates between now and October 21.

The charge is that the Liberals secretly intend to raise taxes after the next election.

Specifically, conservatives wanted to know when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will bring a carbon tax 15 times higher than the $ 20 per tonne rate that will come into effect in April.

Conservatives claim that this move to raise the average family tax to $ 5,000 will be done if the Liberals win re-election. The other blow in this combination of punches is his regular mention of Justin Trudeau's "family fortune" – a phrase the prime minister inadvertently used at a news conference.

"That amount ($ 5,000) is a peanut for a prime minister who inherited a large family fortune," said conservative Rosemarie Falk, as an example.

The only motive in fact in all this is that the $ 300 per tonne value was mentioned in an internal document – an information note that Environment Canada prepared in 2015 for new minister Catherine McKenna. The note suggested that the price of carbon would have to be so high by 2050 to meet Canada's emissions targets.

The Environment Canada modeling, which became public in 2017, suggested that a price of $ 100 per tonne would have to be in place by 2020 for Canada to achieve reductions of 30% in emission levels from 2005 to 2030.

While it is possible – in fact, knowing that climate advocates in the prime minister's office probably will – that the carbon tax will rise above the planned rate of $ 50 per tonne after 2022 if that government is re-elected, there is no evidence that the Liberals plans to raise the rate to $ 300 after the election.

But there are good reasons why conservatives are adopting deceptive tactics: they are working.

The hard truth is that if you are complaining, you are losing

The next election should not be anywhere close. With the New Democrat free-falling and the People's Party nipping at the conservatives' exposed right flank, Trudeau must already be involved in succession planning, deciding when to hand the family business to the next generation.

But he could still try to lose. Nanos latest research has liberals and conservatives neck and neck, despite the NDP hitting historic lows.

Broken promises and unforced errors have persuaded many voters that this government is neither trustworthy nor competent.

As Poilievre improvised, when Trudeau said his finances are held in blind trust: "What the prime minister is asking of taxpayers is to blindly trust him, so he can spend a great fortune, accumulate huge, permanent, and growing debts. deficits and confidence that no one will ever have to pay for it. "

Government ministers are in the House and lament the conservative "misinformation," but as Jonathan Swift pointed out 300 years ago, falsehood flies and the truth stumbles behind it.

Conservatives claim that 81 percent of middle-class Canadians are paying higher taxes than when the liberals came to power.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre

Fred Chartrand / The Canadian Press

The liberal counterpoint – that a middle-income couple with two children is now better than $ 2,000 a year, thanks to Canada's Child Benefit – is not working because Trudeau has lost the benefit of the doubt.

Equally, the conservative claim that liberals can not be trusted with the carbon tax is stifling the government's excuse that eight out of every 10 families in the provinces impacted by the federal carbon tax will be better off because of the plan to cut any money raised.

The liberals will have to sharpen their message, as well as pointing accusing fingers at Stephen Harper and Doug Ford. They may be better known than Andrew Scheer, and in some eyes they incorporate conservatism less than compassionate, but they are not on the ballot.

Neither are complaining allegations of "misinformation" likely to influence disgruntled voters. The hard truth is that if you're complaining, you're losing.

The new parliamentary session revealed that all parties are in full swing.

We are already in an election, and in the absence of facts, panderers and sycophants will corrupt the language to play upon voters' fears and desires.

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