Carbon crunch for Nechako Lakes school district continued

Nechako Lakes School District 91 paid over $72,000 in carbon tax this year.

The carbon tax goes to buying carbon offsets in order to make the schools carbon neutral.

Nechako Lakes School District 91 paid over $72,000 in carbon tax this year.

The carbon tax goes to buying carbon offsets in order to make the schools carbon neutral.

The money is paid to Pacific Carbon Trust, which then provides funding for carbon-emission reducing projects in private industry.

Recently controversy has erupted over the system, which does not provide funding for improvements within the schools themselves to help reduce their carbon footprints.

Ernie Mannering, director of instruction for Nechako Lakes School District, said the school board trustees do have a problem with the carbon tax system as it stands.

He says the trustees “believe the  money should be spent on projects within the districts.”

According to Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad, the average cost to school districts in the province is about $42,000, which is far below what School District 91 paid this year.

The Williams Lake area school district also paid much more than the provincial average, giving $87,000 to the carbon trust in 2011.

Higher heating costs, running their own bus systems and more rural districts could all be costing the more northern districts extra in carbon emissions.

Rustad defended the system, and said while districts do pay for carbon offsets, the province contributes even more each year in programs to reduce carbon emissions within the districts.

 

He did, however, agree he supports the funds staying within the area, instead of being alloted centrally.