Danielle Smith rebuffs “ivory tower” academic economists
“I think the economists should get out their ivory towers and come into the real world, is what they should do,” Smith said.

Mike Campbell

April 2, 2024

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith told reporters on Tuesday that the now-343 economists who support the Trudeau Liberals’ carbon tax are lost in their ivory towers, (aka left wing ideologues). 

Danielle Smith rebuffs “ivory tower” academic economists

Smith made her comment after multiple reporters asked about the economists’ open letter during an unrelated press conference. 

“I think the economists should get out their ivory towers and come into the real world, is what they should do,” she said.

“They should tell me how charging some mama who wants to take her child to a soccer game, how that reduces C02 emissions.”

The Premier’s comments come a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hiked his federal carbon tax 23%. The federal Liberals are claiming that most families benefit financially from the increase through quarterly rebates.

How many Canadians actually benefit from the rebates?

But Smith disagrees. She cited data from the Parliamentary Budget Officer showing that very low-income individuals may get back more than they pay, but everyone else is paying significantly more – up to $2,300 by 2030.

Smith argued that it is “immoral” to be putting a carbon tax on home heating, especially in Alberta’s cold climate, where the tax can be as high as 2.5 times the base price of the fuel itself.

Further, she pointed to an alternative economist’s opinion, Ross McKitrick, who, in a special to the Financial Post, argued much of the same.

In his article, McKitrick said that the economists who signed the letter (some of whom he said are his former students) are a bunch of academic ideologues, and the days of such letters are no longer what they once were.

“Academia has become too politically one-sided. Universities don’t get to spend years filling their ranks with staff drawn from one side of the political spectrum and then expect to be viewed as neutral arbiters of public policy issues,” he wrote.

In a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Just Trudeau stated that Newfoundland’s Liberal Premier Andrew Furey is utterly mistaken in his assessment that the carbon tax costs most Canadians more than the rebates benefit them.

The Liberals maintain that four out of five Canadians are better off financially because of the carbon tax.

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