Lehigh cement plant in Delta is one of the industries affected by B.C.’s carbon tax, giving a price advantage to U.S. and Asian producers. LNG plants add another major emitter. (Black Press files)

Lehigh cement plant in Delta is one of the industries affected by B.C.’s carbon tax, giving a price advantage to U.S. and Asian producers. LNG plants add another major emitter. (Black Press files)

Tripling carbon tax will cost B.C. jobs, add to debt, study estimates

B.C. to match federal tax in 2022, then rise from $50 to $170

B.C.’s carbon tax on fuels will be harmonized with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal tax as of next year, when both reach $50 a tonne, and the rapid climb to $170 by 2030 will cost jobs and increase government deficits, a new study says.

The increase is expected to cost B.C. more than 20,000 jobs over that time, push up deficits already ballooning from the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, and shrink the national economy by about two per cent, says a study released March 16 by economist Ross McKitrick, a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute.

“The federal government has said the higher carbon tax will have ‘almost zero’ impact on the economy, but in fact, a tax of that magnitude will have significant effects on the economy and on workers across the country, including in B.C.,” McKitrick said. The findings reinforce other studies that show negative as well as positive effects of carbon tax on Canada.

Story continues below video

B.C. pioneered retail carbon taxes in Canada, having imposed one at $30 per tonne in 2008. A decade of results show why Ottawa is poised to rapidly increase it in an effort to meet Canada’s international greenhouse gas targets. B.C.’s tax has had little impact on greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen steadily and are expected to grow significantly with the addition of liquefied natural gas exports from northeast B.C. shale gas deposits.

RELATED: B.C. NDP raises carbon tax, ends ‘revenue neutral’ tax cuts

RELATED: B.C. carbon tax costs more than natural gas it’s charged on

B.C.’s emissions rose seven per cent in 2018, the latest year of available statistics, and the province counted offsets from forest management projects to bring the net increase for 2018 to six per cent.

McKitrick also examines Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim that the rapidly rising carbon tax on gasoline, diesel, natural gas and other fuels will “most likely” leave people better off, due to tax rebates based on household income.

“We find that, even after taking account of the rebates and the stimulative effect of new spending, average real household consumption falls in every province by between 0.5% and 2.2%,” the study says. “While it is possible that the government’s goal is feasible, depending on the distribution of impacts it may be diffcult to achieve in practice.

“Furthermore, it will not be feasible for the government to rebate the majority of carbon-tax revenues without increasing the federal defcit. The increased carbon tax will cause the rest of the tax base to shrink, offsetting much of the new tax revenues. If the government rebates 90% of the carbon tax revenues to households, spends the remainder, and keeps all other tax rates constant, it will permanently increase government deficits by about $24 billion annually.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicscarbon tax

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson Road Maintenance crews have been working on road base failures on Highway 20. (Dawson Road Maintenance Facebook photo)
ROAD REPORT: Dawson Road Maintenance provides update on Cariboo Chilcotin road conditions

Road bases still soft, saturated at multiple locations in Cariboo Chilcotin due to spring freshet

The Central Coast snowpack is now sitting at 146 percent (Felicia Harris photo)
Central Coast snowpack now 46 per cent above normal

The risk of spring flooding is elevated due to the above normal snowpack across the entire province

Residents line up socially distanced at the Seedy Saturday event, held at the Lobelco Hall parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 3 with strict COVID-19 restrictions and precautions in place. (Nicole Kaechele photo)
Seedlings, plants and seeds offered at Seedy Saturday

“It was a fairly good turnout,” noted Elizabeth Howard

The Bella Coola Valley Arts Council (BCVAC) has recently received two awards totaling $40,000 from the province-wide British Columbia Arts Council, part of the StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The grants are to be used to stimulate local arts communities and to help them cope with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo submitted)
Bella Coola Valley Arts Council receives $40,000 for local projects

The grants will be used to stimulte local arts communities and help them cope with the pandemic

Nuxalk Sputc Crew technician Scmlh (Jason Moody) walks in Bella Coola River towards sputc holding tank with cinematographer Louvens Remy (photo submitted)
Documentary to highlight importance of sputc for Nuxalk Nation

Sputc: We Shall Eat When the River is Full is a cinematic tale of wealth, loss and recovery

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. girl’s wish granted as her cat came back, two years later

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Most Read