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

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

VIDEO: LEGO fundraiser builds playground purse

Inspired families built LEGO creations, helped Silver Creek build playground

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Langley City hits up province for share of pot revenue

The province says it understands municipalities will face extra costs when marijuana is legalized.

B.C. climber remembered for gentle spirit, love of mountains

Marc-André Leclerc had been hearing the call of the mountains since childhood

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals on the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

B.C. bravery, public service honoured by Governor General Julie Payette

UVic basketball coach Kathryn Shields inducted into Order of Canada

Most Read