"Green Shift" is mainstream policy
There's lots of FUD being spread about the Liberals' proposed carbon tax. Similar taxes have been used in other countries for years now, and they work
If the Conservatives had come up with the Green Shift policy, I would be voting Conservative. If the NDP had come up with it, I'd be voting NDP. In fact, in Canada it's the Green Party that first developed the idea of a revenue-neutral transition from taxing income to taxing waste. Who came up with it doesn't matter. What matters is that it happen, and soon.
The fact is that tax plans like this are not new. Germany has been employing a similar tax for ten years now, and Germany's record with green tech is stellar: 250,000 jobs directly relating to sustainable technologies is nothing to sneeze at. Other countries that are either enacting such measures now or are intensively studying them include the UK, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
The devil's always in the details, but tax shifts like this are fundamentally simpler than other measures the provinces are already planning, such as the cap and trade market for carbon that is a major goal of the Western Climate Initiative (which 70% of Canadians now belong to). Tax shifting is simple: the government stops taxing you for being productive, and starts taxing you for being wasteful. This means more money in our pockets for at least two reasons: first, the carbon tax is immediately offset by income and business tax reductions; secondly, making waste expensive gives companies incentive to become more efficient, and efficiency drives down costs. This is why costs don't get passed on to the consumer, and it is why everything eventually becomes cheaper rather than more expensive.
When demand for fossil fuels increases, their prices go up. When demand for renewables like wind or solar power increases... their prices go down.
You can have more money in your pocket while making a huge difference to the environment. And this tax would not apply to gasoline.
The reason the Conservatives are complaining about the "Green Shift" proposal is that it would have been a perfect policy for them--more money all around with less of a hit on the consumer--but they didn't think of it first.