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

Local area D-Day survivor is 100 yrs on Feb. 5

Stewart Ray is “like a cat with 9 lives, except he’s on at least his 3rd set of 9 lives”

WWII Veteran’s 70th year residing in Fort St. James

J.K. Johnson moved here from Calgary in 1947 and never looked back

“Persian Plenty” quilt fit for a queen

Fort St. James quilter Mona French is almost finished building her magnificent… Continue reading

Community Foundation showcases “777 Challenge” trophy

The 777 Challenge is one way to donate to the Fort St.… Continue reading

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Trudeau mania, Scheer enthusiasm in B.C. this week

Prime minister, Conservative leader drop in on Surrey, White Rock

Most Read