Cap and Trade….Cottaging and Boating

Today our premier has announced and intention to enter into a cap-and-trade system in an attempt to help reduce carbon consumption by business, manufacturing and families.  While it is safe to see all of us realize that the environment and its health is important for this generation and the ones to follow….are we ready for this and its cost and potential impact on our lifestyle?  It was also announced that this new carbon tax and that is what it really is or will become revenue to the tune of 2 billion dollars for the provincial government.  It was also stated that at some time in the future our provincial government may utilize some of this new money on green initiatives and rapid transit projects.  That remains to be seen and I for one have noticed the continuation of the Hydro debt repayment past the time the debt has been wiped out, the gas tax that is to pay for highways and never seems to all spent here among others.  Getting past my doubts and how we allow politics to be played out….what about the marine business and cottages….what will be the effect of a 3 cent per litre price increase in gas?  I normally do not comment on politics or the views I hold but I am concerned about our situation in Ontario and the run of politics we have seen in the last decade.

Is this fuel surcharge enough to effect buying patterns of recreational products such as boats, snowmobiles, recreational vehicles and Atv’s?  Assuming it takes the average cottager a little over 2.5 hours to get to Muskoka that would mean an additional fuel surcharge of about $1 dollar each way.  I used 20 miles to the gallon…no I still like imperial better…at 60 miles per hour or 3 gallons at an additional $0.12 cents per gallon or $0.36 cents per hour times 2.5 hours.  Not much real additional cost there!  How about boating…when I calculate it out on a 3 hour boat ride at half throttle or less…the additional cost is…about $6.00….again not a large amount.  We at Huntsville Marine are already doing our part as a member of the OMOA Green Marine program and our stated thoughts on shrink wrap storage systems…..could we do more to reduce carbon consumption…I have been looking at it and will continue to reduce our carbon footprint.

So my initial thoughts are business as usual for the cottage and marine business.  The cottage and boating is all about family, friends, decompression and stress relief after 40 plus hours of working for the man.  In order to really positively effect carbon consumption perhaps we need to look at our as a society our overall lifestyle but are we prepared to do that.  More money required for food coming, to heat and cool our homes, businesses and industries all going up with this new tax.  Are we prepared to give up those February sun get aways as they are definitely not carbon neutral?  Problem as I see it with most politics as they try to wedge issue their way into our pocket books is that they never seem to get right at it as it’s would effect voting patterns too much.  Perhaps good intentions…but its politics and it does not seem to matter which party it is…they all claim to know what is right for us.  Time will tell how this plays out and I retire for a while from any further political comment…not looking to have my office bugged or be on any political watch list….just got off it for the G8 summit in 2008…really I will be good!