Leader John Horgan and environment critic George Heyman announce the B.C. NDP's plan to modify the carbon tax Thursday.

NDP aims to increase B.C. carbon tax

Earlier, smaller increase with some proceeds spent on emission-reducing infrastructure, John Horgan promises

The B.C. NDP will campaign on a pledge to increase B.C.’s carbon tax on fuels earlier than the B.C. Liberals, and send out “climate action rebate cheques” to eight out of 10 taxpayers to offset their costs.

NDP leader John Horgan announced the framework of his carbon tax plan in Vancouver Thursday. To meet Ottawa’s target of $50 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions by 2022, an NDP government would increase B.C.’s existing $30-per-tonne rate by $6 in 2020 and $7 in each of the next two years. Carbon tax currently adds about seven cents to the price of a litre of gasoline, and at $50 a tonne it will add 12 cents.

Premier Christy Clark’s plan to meet the $50 level, made mandatory for all provinces by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last year, is to wait until other provinces reach the $30 level and then increase the rate to $50 by 2022.

The BC Liberal carbon tax was introduced in 2008, with legislation requiring it to be revenue neutral to the government through reduced personal and business income taxes. Horgan said reductions to personal income tax would remain, and his plan also retains carbon tax credits for people in rural areas with longer traveling distances.

Rebate cheques would go out at the beginning of each year, with 80 per cent of taxpayers getting carbon tax back instead of 40 per cent under the current system, Horgan said.

Rebate cheques for $100 were sent out to almost everyone in B.C. by the government of former premier Gordon Campbell when the carbon tax was launched, including 18,000 people who had either died or moved out of B.C. in 2007.

Horgan said part of the increased carbon tax revenue will be used for transit, energy efficiency upgrades and investments in clean technology.

Environment Minister Mary Polak issued a statement calling Horgan’s plan a “cash grab for NDP pet projects, like making Northern and Interior residents pay for transit in the Lower Mainland.”

In a prelude to debates  leading up to the May 9 provincial election, Horgan said the current carbon tax plan has led to increasing B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions, while his program would reduce them.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said neither the NDP nor the BC Liberal plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

They are “based around federal measures that were designed to achieve targets that were set by Stephen Harper,” Weaver said. “Their plan will not reduce carbon emissions if they also intend to support the LNG industry.”

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read