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

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Budget’s Top 10 promises the North Coast will care about

BC Ferry fare reductions, Indigenous language investments, rent support for seniors

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Via Rail’s unofficial travelling art program

Jasper-Prince Rupert train has a car dedicated to art offered by the one-of-a-kind Bruce Brown

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read