Green taxes on local government agenda

Municipal leaders are gathering for their annual convention in Vancouver at the end of September, and they'll be calling for changes to green taxes imposed by the B.C. government.

Municipal leaders are gathering for their annual convention in Vancouver at the end of September, and they’ll be calling for changes to green taxes imposed by the B.C. government.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities executive has given high priority to a resolution from Smithers calling for changes to the province’s carbon offset program. Municipalities and regional districts, along with school districts and health authorities, are required to buy greenhouse gas emission credits to make their operations “carbon neutral,” with proceeds going to cleanup projects such as natural gas and cement plants.

Smithers council is calling for carbon offset payments to be retained by each local government, to use for their own building retrofits, fuel-efficient vehicles or other emissions reduction strategies. Environment Minister Terry Lake has indicated he is considering such a change, after complaints that the carbon offset program is costing cash-strapped schools and hospitals millions every year.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is calling for a portion of carbon tax on fossil fuels to be directed to transit funding. That mirrors a proposal considered by Premier Christy Clark, who will be making her first keynote speech at the UBCM convention on Sept. 30.

Resolutions from the Cariboo Regional District and the City of Colwood call for the province to reverse its ban on incandescent light bulbs, citing concern about the disposal of compact fluorescent lights.

Fort St. John council has a resolution calling for five per cent of B.C.’s liquor store revenues to go to local drug and alcohol awareness and prevention programs for youth and adults. The UBCM passed a similar resolution in 2004, calling for a share of provincial liquor revenues to support homeless shelters and detox facilities.

The District of Metchosin is seeking federal and provincial help to control its population of Canada geese, which has ballooned to between 3,000 and 5,000 with considerable losses to crops. The resolution says geese were introduced to southern Vancouver Island in the 1950s “to provide stock for hunting purposes.”

UBCM delegates will also vote on a resolution to allow local governments to offer online voting. The City of Vancouver has a pilot program in the works for advance polls in local elections, which take place across the province this November.

Another hot topic at the convention will be Clark’s promise to create a new municipal auditor-general. Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong says the auditor will do “performance audits,” such as looking at projects cost-shared by the B.C. and federal governments to see which communities used them more efficiently.

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf will not sail until mid-July

BC Ferries had hoped to get the vessel in September of last year, but it didn’t arrive until December

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

Snowpacks continue to melt causing thousands to be displaced, dozens of local states of emergency

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

UPDATED: Almost 1,200 people allowed to return home in Kootenay-Boundary as floods dry up

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Most Read