Canada Liberals face battle over Green Shift name

Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:56pm EDT
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By Patricia Launt

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's Liberal Party is facing a possible lawsuit for launching its new carbon-tax plan under the banner Green Shift, the same name as a Toronto-based environmental consulting company.

Jennifer Wright, the company's owner, said the Liberal Party called her only the night before leader Stephane Dion outlined the plan to the public.

Wright, who has almost finished trademarking the name of her 10-year-old company, has sent the Liberals a cease and desist letter and hasn't ruled out the possibility of a lawsuit.

"If they were wrong and they didn't know, here's their opportunity to bow out gracefully now and say I'm sorry," she said.

The political party's website is also remarkably similar to the company's web address

Under the Liberal plan, which the opposition party is likely to make a central plank in the next election campaign, taxes would go up on fuel oil, diesel, natural gas, coal and jet fuel -- and indirectly on some electricity.

The taxes would be designed to cut consumption of fossil fuels and improve the environment. The revenue would get passed back to taxpayers through cuts in personal and corporate income taxes.

Joseph Mayer, the Liberal Party's director of communications, said that although the party realized prior to the plan's launch there was another entity with the Green Shift name he believes "it was too close to shift back."   Continued...