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"Every day that we go on consuming carbon-based products at a price that does not reflect their true social cost, we pass more and more grief on to our children and grandchildren."

Richard G. Lipsey

For more quotes, click here.

Canada's scientists have also
spoken to our federal leaders. See

Selected Media Coverage:
Ottawa Citizen - October 7th, 2008 - October 7th, 2008
Vancouver Sun - October 11th, 2008

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The Economics of Climate Change

Attention News/Environment/Economics Editors:
230+ of Canada’s leading economists call for action on climate change

(La version française suit ci-bas)

Open Letter to leaders of Canada’s federal political parties

Release 00h01 (EST) Tuesday Oct. 7, 2008

OTTAWA, Oct. 6 - More than 230 economists teaching in Canadian universities have signed an open letter to federal political leaders calling for economically coherent action on climate change. Among the signatories are some of Canada’s top economists, including current and past presidents of the Canadian Economics Association, and holders of Canada Research Chairs and the Order of Canada.

“Economists disagree on many things, but on what needs to be done about climate change there is considerable agreement,” explains Ross Finnie, one of the three authors of the letter and an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. “The signatories come from a wide range of political persuasions and will vote for different parties, but we all agree that effective policies for addressing climate change must be based on sound economic principles. Our goal is to help inform public debate on climate change at a time when people are really paying attention to this issue – during the federal election. Our hope is that whichever party forms the next government will act on these principles.”

“It’s remarkable how much agreement there is among economists on this key point – the best climate change policy is to put a price on carbon,” says Nancy Olewiler, another of the authors and director of SFU’s Public Policy Program. David Green, the third author and professor at UBC, adds “We also want people to be clear that all policies that alter carbon emissions will affect the prices they face – some more than others.”

The signatories agree on these 10 principles:

  1. Canada needs to act on climate change now.
  2. Any substantive action will involve economic costs.
  3. These economic impacts cannot be an excuse for inaction.
  4. Pricing carbon is the best approach from an economic perspective.
    1. Pricing allows each business and family to choose the response that is best and most efficient for them.
    2. Pricing induces innovation.
    3. Carbon is almost certainly under-priced right now.
  5. Regulation is the most expensive way to meet a given climate change goal.
  6. A carbon tax has the advantage of providing certainty in the price of carbon.
  7. A cap and trade system provides certainty on the quantity of carbon emitted, but not on the price of carbon and can be a highly complex policy to implement.
  8. Although carbon taxes have the most obvious effects on consumers, all carbon reduction policies increase the prices individuals face.
  9. Price mechanisms can be regressive and our policy should address this.
  10. A pricing mechanism can allow other taxes to be reduced and provide an opportunity to improve the tax system.

For more information, contact:

  • Nancy Olewiler, Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University: 778-782-7700 or 778-782-5289;
  • David Green, Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia: 604-822-8216 or 604-230-6802;
  • Ross Finnie, Professor of Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa: 613-562-5800 ext 4554 or 613-295-5798.

How to Save Yourself from Snow and Ice Menace in Calgary

Snowfall might invoke nostalgic memories of a typical jingle bell season. However, once the cold weather sets in, the reality of dealing with the consequences often follow suite. People living in Calgary prepare to deal with months of snow drifting and ice accumulation. Most of them opt to hire snow removal Calgary services to save them from the menace that this kind of weather brings. Even authorities go to the extent of spending huge bucks in order to bring sanity in the highways, driveways, and public areas.

Snow removal and type of services available

A lawn tractor, a snow plow mount, or a shovel can be used to get rid of snow depending on the workload at hand. Effective snow eradication is important, both to businesses and individuals alike. In such horrific weather, effective snow removal paves way for good mobility and safe traveling. Again, it protects structural damage such as when snow is eliminated from the rooftop of homes.

For those living in areas that receive light snowfall, a broom and shovel can be used to whisk snow off the sidewalks or any other area affected by the menace. In areas that receive medium to heavy snowfall, a heavy-duty snow blower, shovel, snow scoop, a mini track, and pickup might be needed to free the area of snow.

In such areas, manual snow removal can prove to be cumbersome. Individuals carrying out this task risk putting strain on major body parts such as the heart and back tissues. This has often resulted in a significant number of senior citizens shoveling snow on their own dying out of heart attack. This is why such areas usually offer free snow removal services to the elderly and people who are in need.

Professional snow removal Calgary services

When seeking to have snow removal professionals remove snow in your premises, it is always good to take note of the following:

- Use quotes as opposed to price estimates since these are subject to change

- Go with several quotes and also choose based on the type of snow removal services offered

- Ask the contractor if additional charges apply to tasks related to clearing snow during a storm or using sand and salt to deter snow from forming

- Seek price options or packages if a particular Calgary snow contractor has costly services


When you hire a snow removal service in Calgary, you should keep your expectations realistic. When snow fall increases, traveling is slowed down, and this might take the contractor time to reach your area of residence. Also remember that snow removal efforts could take longer depending on the work at hand.

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Plus de 230 économistes canadiens appellent
à l’action en matière de changements climatiques

OTTAWA, 6 octobre – Plus de 230 économistes enseignant dans les universités canadiennes ont signé une lettre ouverte aux représentants des partis politiques fédéraux pour que des actions cohérentes sur le plan économique soit prises afin de lutter contre les changements climatiques. Parmi les signataires, on retrouve certains des économistes les plus réputés comme l’actuel et d’anciens présidents de l’association canadienne des économistes, des titulaires de chaires et des membres de l’ordre du Canada.

« Les économistes ont des points de vue divergents sur beaucoup de sujets mais il existe un consensus assez remarquable sur ce qui doit être fait pour lutter contre les changements climatiques» explique Ross Finnie, un des trois auteurs de la lettre et professeur à l’université d’Ottawa. «Les signataires ont des vues politiques très variées et vont voter pour différents partis, mais nous sommes tous d’accord qu’une politique efficace de lutte contre les changements climatiques doit s’appuyer sur des principes économiques de base. Notre but est d’alimenter le débat public sur les changements climatiques à un moment où les gens considèrent sérieusement ce problème dans le contexte des élections fédérales. Notre espoir est que quel que soit le parti qui forme le prochain gouvernement, celui-ci se basera sur ces principes. »

« Il est remarquable de constater l’ampleur du consensus qui existe parmi les économistes sur un point crucial - la meilleure politique pour lutter contre les changements climatiques est de mettre un prix sur le carbone, » déclare Nancy Olewiler, une des auteurs de la lettre et directrice du programme des politiques publiques de l’Université Simon Fraser.

Les signataires appuient les 10 principes suivants :

  1. Le Canada doit agir maintenant contre les changements climatiques.
  2. Toute action significative impliquera des coûts pour l’économie.
  3. Ces impacts économiques ne doivent pas servir de prétexte à l’inaction.
  4. La tarification du carbone est la meilleure approche d’un point de vue économique.
    1. Elle permet à chaque entreprise ou ménage de choisir la réponse qui lui convient le mieux.
    2. Elle suscite l’innovation.
    3. Le carbone est très certainement sous-évalué à l’heure actuelle.
  5. La réglementation est le moyen le plus dispendieux d’atteindre des réductions d’émission.
  6. Une taxe a l’avantage d’offrir une certitude sur le prix du carbone.
  7. Un système de permis échangeables assure l’atteinte de cibles de réduction des émissions mais à un prix du carbone incertain et son implantation peut être complexe.
  8. Les politiques qui imposent des coûts aux producteurs vont aussi avoir des conséquences pour les consommateurs.
  9. Les mécanismes de contrôle des émissions par les prix peuvent avoir des effets régressifs et ce problème doit être pris en compte.
  10. Un mécanisme basé sur les prix du carbone peut permettre la réduction d’autres taxes et ainsi améliorer notre système de taxation.

Pour plus d’information, veuillez contacter :

  • Jean-Thomas Bernard, Université Laval, département d’économique, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, tél: 418-656 5123.
  • Ross Finnie, Professor of Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa: 613-562-5800,ext. 4554 or 613-295-5798.