Expand carbon tax, contain fish farms: Horgan

Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan releases his environmental platform in Victoria Wednesday

VICTORIA – Admitting his party was wrong to campaign against the carbon tax on fossil fuels, NDP leadership candidate John Horgan has called for the tax to be extended to large industrial emitters.

Releasing what he called the first environmental platform of any leadership candidate from either party, Horgan also pledged a moratorium on new run-of-river power projects and “transitioning away” from open-pen fish farms off the B.C. coast.

Horgan denied that he is advocating the shutdown of existing fish farms. He said closed-containment technology using bags suspended in the ocean is developing, and existing leases for net-pen salmon farms will eventually expire.

“Closed containment is the only way I can see the aquaculture industry surviving in the long term,” he said.

Horgan wants a review of existing contracts with private hydro power producers. He also proposed setting up a new division of BC Hydro he calls BC Renewables, to develop publicly owned small and medium-sized hydro, wind, solar and tidal power projects.

Cement plants, natural gas plants and other large emitters of carbon dioxide pay the tax on fuel they use in vehicles and machinery, but the emissions from industrial processes were exempted when the tax was introduced in 2008. Horgan wants to end that exemption, but he acknowledges that B.C. risks pushing investment in carbon-intensive plants to Alberta or Washington state.

“The oil and gas sector is doing very well in British Columbia,” Horgan said. “The cement industry were active opponents to the carbon tax. I would sit down with carbon-intensive industries and determine what’s in the best interests of them continuing to provide employment and investment in British Columbia, but not exclusively to their benefit.”

Carbon tax revenues on gasoline and other fuels are currently offset by personal income tax cuts and credits for low-income earners. Horgan said he would use expanded carbon tax revenues to fund transit and subsidies to improve home insulation and take old cars off the road.

Just Posted

Sailings filling up on Northern Sea Wolf

There is a strong demand for the service

New ownership group presents Mount Timothy Resort plans

‘More activity and more people on the hill means more fun’

Thunderstorms in forecast for much of Cariboo Chilcotin

Special weather statements, concerns of flash flooding, for southern B.C. regions

Two Nuxalk artists awarded YVR Art Foundation scholarships

Several Nuxalk artists have won the award, some more than once

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read