Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Alberta’

Covid infections and deaths SOAR after the first vaccine dose

Posted by M. C. on January 14, 2022

Alex Berenson

The Covid vaccines look worse and worse.

A reader has pointed out an amazing dataset from the province of Alberta, Canada which reports Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by day after the first and second vaccine doses.

Infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from Covid all soar in the days and weeks after people receive their first vaccine dose.




Alberta has about 4.4 million people, so this sample is not small. The vast majority of vaccines given in the province are the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, though about 10 percent are the DNA/AAV vaccines, mostly from AstraZeneca, which is not used in the United States.

The figures further support the national-level data from Israel and Britain, which last year saw Covid deaths hit all-time highs just after they began mass vaccination campaigns.

See the rest here

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Canada’s Left Is Pushing Some Albertans To See the Benefits of Secession | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 27, 2021

For the trendy leftists in Laurentian Canada, Alberta is a backwater that has not been sufficiently assimilated into the PC hive mind. To reach such a universalist goal, the Canadian state will likely have to conduct ever more therapeutic interventions to “correct” recalcitrant Albertans’ perceived deficiencies.

José Niño

Talks of separatism are not just limited to the United States.

When Canada is brought up in political discourse, it’s usually done to juxtapose its relative stability to the US. Often portrayed as the tamer, more socially stable version of the US, Canada has become a darling of American progressives. Even some American celebrities, caught up in the hysteria of former president Donald Trump’s successful 2016 run, hinted at moving to Canada. Conventional views of foreign countries can be quite misleading, however.

The last few weeks have been rather dicey in Canada. The controversy kicked off after the discovery of the supposed mass graves of First Nations near the former sites of four Canadian Indian residential schools in the provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Although there is growing evidence that these discoveries do not point to a genocidal act inflicted on Canada’s indigenous population, the radical Left went about its usual routine by instantly pouncing on the discoveries and using them as a pretext to burn down churches and topple monuments of famous historical figures across Canada.

The Canadian government’s tepid response to this spate of violence has reminded many Canadians of how out of touch Ottawa leaders are with right-wing constituencies in Canada’s western provinces. The latest surge in leftist iconoclasm will likely add further fuel to the separatist fire that has been gestating in the Canadian prairies for some time.

The Canadian Prairies’ Growing Dissatisfaction with the Federal Government

Traditionally, separatism in Canada has been associated with movements within the Francophone province of Quebec to separate from English-speaking Canada and form its own nation. However, parts of Anglophone Canada aren’t seeing eye to eye with Ottawa and its culturally leftist vision, most notably the province of Alberta.

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Contact José Niño

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter here.

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Alberta’s Regional Carbon Tax Is a Recipe for Disaster | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 6, 2019

Australia’s carbon tax hit consumers so badly the government had to spend more $ in reimbursements before finally scrapping the tax.

The Fraser Institute in Canada recently released my study critiquing the province of Alberta’s approach to carbon pricing. My analysis for Fraser confirms what I’ve been arguing on the pages of IER for years: in the United States, conservatives and libertarians should run from any “carbon tax deal” that promises to shrink the size of government while battling climate change. No matter their promises, in practice government-imposed “carbon pricing” schemes never live up to the guidelines for “efficiency” laid down by their proponents. In this post I’ll illustrate myth vs. reality in the case of Alberta.

The Climate Leadership Plan (CLP)

As I explain in my Fraser study, the province of Alberta implemented a Climate Leadership Plan (CLP) in November 2015. It included a carbon tax (at CA$30/ton which will increase to $50 by 2022).

Yet the CLP includes more than just a mere “price on carbon.” It allocates a third of the carbon tax revenue to “green” investment projects, designed to promote a transition to a low-emission economy. It also includes specific climate objectives, such as an annual cap (100 megatons) on oil-sands emissions, and phasing out coal-fired electrical generation by 2030.

The CLP Fails on Textbook Carbon Tax Reform

Even if we stipulate the standard argument for a “market-based carbon tax reform,” the CLP fails on several fronts. First, it is not revenue neutral, even though its official website—in a move that would warm George Orwell’s heart—proudly proclaims that it is. To support this claim, they are merely reinventing definitions, such that “revenue neutral” means “the government will spend all the money in some fashion.” Some of the money is rebated to households, but (as I explained in the previous section) a third or so is earmarked for “green” projects. This is of course not what “revenue neutral” means.

A second problem is the specific objectives superimposed on top of the carbon tax. In principle, a carbon tax levied at the correct level is supposed to “internalize the externalities” and correct the “market failure” of greenhouse gas emissions. It is redundant—even on the terms of the carbon taxers—to levy specific mandates on top of this external “price.” In my study, I referred to another Fraser publication that estimates that the cap on oil-sands emissions would reduce emissions at a marginal cost of more than $1,000 per metric ton! That is about 20x the standard estimates of the “social cost of carbon,” which shows these policies have little to do with the “scientific” case for pricing carbon.

The Problem of Leakage

Yet even the basic concept of a carbon tax levied at the provincial level is quite dubious. The problem is what economists in the literature refer to as “leakage,” where businesses and households can (over time) shift their emissions out of regulated jurisdictions into regions where there are lower (or no) government constraints on emissions.

For example, suppose the province of Alberta implemented a draconian $500/ton carbon tax, and enforced it ruthlessly. That would certainly cause measured emissions from Alberta to fall quickly, and after a decade (say) of this new regime, we would expect to see very low emissions from the province.

However, that doesn’t mean global emissions would have fallen the same amount, relative to the original trend. This is because many Alberta residents (or those who had been considering moving there) would avoid the province, because they wouldn’t want to live in a region with such high taxes on gasoline and electricity.

When all was said and done, the effect of a draconian carbon tax levied just in Alberta would be to wreck the Albertan economy, while having little long-run impact on global carbon dioxide emissions. Indeed, to the extent that some manufacturing operations relocated out of Alberta and into China, you might see emissions (for those operations) increase, since foreign production is often more carbon-intensive.

The way to incorporate the above reasoning into the standard framework is like this: When computing the “social cost of carbon,” analysts are implicitly considering a globally enforced carbon tax. That’s really the only way to make sense of the number, even on its own terms. But instead when we ask, “What should the ‘optimal’ carbon tax be at the provincial level?” we have an entirely different situation. Even if we stipulate the standard approach that justifies carbon taxes, the actual size is much lower than the “social cost of carbon” when we are talking about small jurisdictions.


If Canadian provinces (or U.S. states) implement a regional carbon tax, they shouldn’t fool themselves that they are “doing the right thing.” Even on their own terms, the most they can argue is that they are sacrificing their own economies through a symbolic gesture that by itself isn’t worth the cost, but which might encourage others to follow suit. Yet if framed that way, most of the public would run for the hills.

In this post I have focused on Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan (CLP) and shown how it fails to live up to the promises of those selling a “carbon tax reform” package. In practice, a carbon tax will not be revenue neutral, and it won’t be set at the “correct” level as determined by academics. Households and businesses will suffer from higher energy prices and slower economic growth, with very little to show for it in terms of environmental benefits—even stipulating the basic framework of human-caused climate change.

Originally published at Institute for Energy Research



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