REGINA, SK: Flights taken over a six-month period by David McLaughlin, a Manitoba government contractor working on climate change policies, have produced more greenhouse gas emissions than an entire Winnipeg household, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation through freedom-of-information requests.
“It takes a special kind of hypocrisy to personally run up emissions by flying across the country every few weeks while pushing a carbon tax that will make it more expensive for families put gas in their minivans,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “If the government really wants to reduce emissions, it should hire someone who doesn’t commute to work in a jet.”
Government documents show McLaughlin claimed travel expenses for 15 trips in six months. Assuming those trips were round trips (30 flights) between Winnipeg and McLaughlin’s home in Ottawa, he is responsible for 4.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions in flights alone, according to WestJet’s emissions calculator. The average Winnipeg household produces 0.68 tonnes per month (4.1 tonnes over six months), according to a study produced by the University of British Columbia.
“It’s easy for bureaucrats to advocate for carbon taxes when they can just send taxpayers the bills for any increased travel costs,” said MacKay. “But what are MLAs going to tell voters who worry about the cost of a carbon tax while jet-setting policymakers are personally responsible for more emissions than the average Winnipeg household?”
A Mainstreet Research poll shows 45 per cent of Manitobans oppose a carbon tax, while 33 per cent support the scheme and 23 per cent are unsure. Canadian Federation of Independent Business surveys show 62 per cent of the province’s small- and medium-sized businesses oppose a carbon tax that will increase costs. The Western Canadian Wheat Growers oppose the policy and the Keystone Agricultural Producers are demanding full exemptions for farmers as carbon taxes threaten competitiveness.
A document outlining McLaughlin’s expense are available at this link:http://www.taxpayer.com/media/FOI-MB-DM-travel.pdf
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