”Generation Screwed” logo. Supplied

Generation Screwed group hosts Langley forum questioning cost of green energy programs

The issue, founder says, is the amount of debt governments are running up

Growing government debt is a key issue for people his age, Ben Lawton said, because they are the ones who will have to pay for it.

“It’s leveraging our future,” said Lawton, the founder of Generation Screwed, an anti-debt student lobby group initiated by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

“It means that my future income is being confiscated. There’s no other way to put it.”

The 25-year-old Lawton was being interviewed by The Times about an upcoming forum on the costs of green energy policies at Trinity Western University taking place Thursday, Jan. 25.

Presented by the TWU chapter of Generation Screwed , the event was expected to take a less-than-positive view about the use of taxpayers money for green purposes, with the title “Debt and False profits: Green energy.”

Featured speakers are Canadian Taxpayers Federation BC Director Kris Sims and Resource Works Executive Director Stewart Muir.

A release by Generation Screwed described Sims as a founding reporter for the now-defunct right-of-centre Sun News Network, who covered issues “regarding government, personal liberty and the rights of Canadians” while Muir was described as a “historian and award-winning journalist with a passion for the natural legacies of British Columbia.”

The session was expected to devote attention to the “Green” Energy Act in Ontario, which the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has criticized with online commentaries that have said like “many too-good-to-be-true investments, green energy sounded good in theory, but has been a nightmare in practice” in one posting called “Slaying the Green Energy Dragon” by Candice Malcolm.

A statement by the club at Trinity Western University calls itself “a voice crying out in the wilderness to hold government mismanagement to account and raise awareness among students whose futures are being sold out.”

Lawton, who is working on his undergraduate degree in economics and political science at Simon Fraser University, said the group is non-partisan.

“We’re just as critical of the last government as this one,” said Lawton.

Lawton’s online profile notes that he once worked in the mining industry where he learned “the importance of free enterprise, trade and capitalism, and how the opportunities they deliver are life changing for Canada’s most disadvantaged peoples.”

Governments like to borrow money to soften the impact of bad economic times, with the idea those debts will be paid down during good times, but that isn’t what’s happening, Lawton maintains.

“It (the borrowing) never really stops.”

“We’re not trying to blame previous generations, but it’s our generation that’s going to have to pay for it.”

“There is absolutely a moral component to it,” he added.

“Do you leave your kids with the bill?”

Lawton said Generation Screwed is fine with the B.C. NDP government doing whatever they want with an operating surplus of $2.7 billion as long as they don’t go into the red.

READ MORE: NDP inherits $2.7 billion surplus

He said B.C. is in better shape than some provinces that have gone deep into debt, making even a minor increase in borrowing rates a potential crisis.

“We now have a huge interest rate risk,” he said.

“You could be looking at a near-default situation, at least for some of the provincial governments like Ontario.”

READ MORE: Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation brings National Debt Clock to Langley

Generation Screwed at TWU is hosting a forum on the Green Energy issue Thursday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m. in the Fraser Lounge, Fraser Hall. Speakers, Canadian Taxpayers Federation BC Director Kris Sims and Resource Works Executive Director Stewart Muir tackle “Debt and False profits: Green energy,” asking what are governments in Canada doing to its taxpayers in the name of “Green Energy”? How much green will “green” cost?



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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