Tag Archives: Green Shift

Anti-Green Shift Astroturfing

Let’s see what “average Guelphite” Barry Osmond is
up to these days, shall we?

That name might ring a bell with some of you from the indignant letter he wrote to the Guelph Mercury on August 2nd regarding all of the negative sniping by Liberal supporters at Gloria “MIA” Kovach, including “implying she’s just a Stephen Harper sock puppet.” Apparently, Mr. Osmond doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “imply” but whatever.

The next day, Progressive Blogger “Skinny Dipper” speculated that Mr. Osmond might actually be the “Blogging Tory” that posts anonymously as “Christian Conservative” because of the distinct similarity of wording used in the letter to the editor and a blog post by the redeemed one also whinging about the negative attacks on Kovach. That would appear not to be the case, but one never knows for sure about these things.

Be that as it may, Skinny also wondered whether Mr. Osmond was, rather than just an average citizen, perhaps a Conservative partisan based on the strength of his name appearing as the contact on an invitation to 2007 Conservative Party fundraising dinner ostensibly celebrating the birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald featuring Preston Manning as the guest speaker. Perhaps so.

Now, it seems that Mr. Osmond has launched a website called “Stop the Carbon Tax” that another “Blogging Tory,” the pseudo-conservative pundit and Sun Media hack Gerry Nicholls promoted on his blog yesterday this way: “Grassroots opposition to the Liberal Carbon Tax is growing as evidenced by this cool new site” which linked to Osmond’s site. Yeah, right… “evidence” of “grassroots opposition” — from Conservative party operatives masquerading as average citizens. Cool? Try pathetic.

Update: Jeff Davidson has brought the picture above to our attention. “Average citizen” Barry Osmond is part of “Team Kovach” — he’s the one without boobs.

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Filed under 2008 Canadian Election

You’re Welcome

Heh. That Garth — what a scoundrel.

If he’d asked me, I would have given him a better version. Silly man.

Update: Instead, he’s now changed the picture to something completely different. Can you say “douche”? I know you can…

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Filed under Blogging

Taxing Carbon: Some Initial Thoughts

Campaigns of Hope & Fear

Aside from posting on some of the more frivolous aspects of the Liberals’ proposed “Green Shift” (not to be confused with eco-friendly urinal cakes, napkins and disposable coffee cups bearing the same trademarked name), I haven’t really delved into this pivotal issue to date, but now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading through the plan in its entirety, I’d like to explore it in some more detail over the coming weeks.

In following the “debate” since the plan’s release, I have to say that I’ve found the largely uninformed, knee-jerk reactions of “Conservative” politicians and supporters to be both needlessly alarmist and deeply pessimistic. And at the risk of vastly oversimplifying the matter, to a certain extent it doesn’t seem entirely unfair to regard the contrasting views of Stéphane Dion and Stephen Harper about the issue as those of “hope” and “fear” respectively.

Conservatives would have us believe that a carbon tax is nothing more than a nefarious “trick” that will, as Stephen Harper put it so eloquently back in June, “screw everybody” (especially those in “the West”), but to me, the reasons why this is automatically assumed to be the case seem founded more on an irrational paranoia and a deep-seated distrust of government rather than being based on any empirical evidence or sound economic principles. Quite to the contrary, most economists agree (in itself a somewhat unusual occurrence) that taxing carbon is a sensible idea and some, such as Don Drummond, the chief economist of the TD Bank Financial Group, have even described the Liberals’ carbon tax plan as “a good start” that will, at least in his estimation, leave the general Canadian taxpayer “better off.”

Of course, it would be entirely foolish to blindly place bets on the side of “hope” without failing to mention that the Liberals haven’t always been noted for their sound management of complex government programs in the past. One only has to look back to monumental boondoggles like the scandalous waste associated with the Human Resources Development grants program or the long gun registry to see how badly things can go wrong in this regard. While those are certainly more than fair enough points to raise by way of objection to the Liberals’ “Green Shift” proposal, I want to leave that aspect aside — at least for the time being — and focus instead quite strictly on the principle of the matter.

So, if you have any ideas on how you’d like to see this discussion run, I’d be more than open to suggestions. By way of full disclosure, I may be participating in a conference call with Dion about this issue in the coming weeks, so what transpires here will likely help to inform my questions about the program and its implementation in the rather unlikely event of a future Liberal government.

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Filed under Environmental Policy

Shifty Business

“Nothing is closer to my heart than toilet paper”
Jennifer Wright, Green Shift Inc.

Need I say more?

Some excerpts from Kady O’Malley’s live blogging on this morning’s presser with paper cup seller and publicity hound Jennifer Wright that was carried live on Newsworld.

11:09:29 AM
Question from Sun Media on how she arrived at the $8.5 million figure. “Marketing experts,” she says. Last year, business exceeded a million.

11:10:34 AM
Asked whether the launch has cost them actual business, she dodges the question; companies are “staying quiet” thus far, although some have asked her to keep their name out of it.

11:14:17 AM
Tim Naumetz brings up all those other uses of the phrase “green shift” and suggests that she has seen the term out there. Why does she have a right to the term? She’d be happy to explain, she says, but she really doesn’t. Apparently, there was a tussle over greenshift.com—owned by an American company—which the company eventually abandoned.

As for the British use, she… Is she seriously claiming to have invented the term “green shift”? She is. Wow.

11:17:36 AM

More from Tim, who has done his homework on what Green Shift, Inc. actually does: coffee cups and other supplies, which it provides to companies. “We’re here to be a program for those who want to be leaders,” she says. The symbol and the name Green Shift show that this is a company that people can trust.

11:40:58 AM
Wait, what? Now she’s saying that “Green Shift” actually applies to a “network of companies” that are striving to be environmentally responsible. It’s also the name of her company, and the program offered, and a “concept.”

Meanwhile, Michael Krauss is handing out examples of the Green Shift poster, which was printed in 2008.

She’d better come up with something more convincing than today’s incoherent performance if she hopes to succeed in court.

Update: CAITI is helpfully offering the name Green Incentive Plan along with the domain name GreenIncentivePlan.ca for the low, low cost of $10.45. Might not be a bad idea to make the switch. We can still call it “Green Shift” informally.

Update2: From the LPC’s official response via Macleans.

Mr. Ferguson noted that Green Shift Inc. does not have a registered trademark and that the Liberal Party is not using the words “green shift” in connection with the sale of any products or service, which is necessary to meet the legal test for trade-mark infringement.

“The Liberal Party has done nothing in announcing its ‘Green Shift’ that infringes on any valid trademark or other rights of Green Shift Inc. or any other company. In fact, Green Shift Inc. itself uses the words in a descriptive sense on its website,” said Mr. Ferguson.

Mr. Ferguson also said the widespread generic use of the words “green shift” or “green tax shift” has resulted in the right of anyone to use the words in so far as a tax plan is concerned.

“For example, last year, the UK announced a ‘Green Shift taskforce’ to combat the carbon dioxide emissions from the production, operation and disposal of personal computers. Do Green Shift Inc.’s claims also apply to the government of England?” he said.

“That being said, given our common interest and passion for the environment, we look forward to a reasonable and amicable resolution that is in the parties’ mutual interest,” said Mr. Ferguson.

Fairly predictable.

It sure would be interesting to dig into the failed case against GreenShift Corporation, especially given that the U.S. company was only formed three years ago, long after Green Shift Inc. claims the term “Green Shift” was trademarked (which it isn’t — or not registered anyway).

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Filed under Liberal Party of Canada

When Shifty Greens Attack!

In an entirely unsurprising development, Green Shift Inc., the Toronto company that sells paper cups… err, I mean “helps business improve their environmental standards,” says it’s planning to launch what turns out not to be its first lawsuit for trademark infringement — this time against the Liberal Party over the branding of their carbon-tax plan. Because, you know, the two things are so easily confused in the minds of really stupid people looking to assuage their environmental guilt complexes that evidently comprise the company’s target market.

Jennifer Wright, the head of Green Shift Inc. — an until recently obscure company that’s now familiar to millions of people and is definitely not to be confused with “The Green Shift” which is a political party policy and most certainly not a dinky little company that sells paper cups — told the Star (that’s the Toronto Star — which is not to be confused with The Daily Star, the Phoenix Star, the Star & Tribune, the Star Express, the Star News, or any of the hundreds of other papers called “the Star”) that her attorneys are drawing up a lawsuit “claiming that the Liberals have stolen her company’s trademarked name and damaged the firm’s reputation.”

Whatever. I am a little curious though why Star reporter Allan Woods didn’t ask the obvious questions of Ms. Wright when learning that the company had previously launched a lawsuit over its name in the amount of $2 million. Specifically: Is that lawsuit still pending and if not, what was the amount of the settlement? Inquiring minds and all that…

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Filed under Liberal Party of Canada