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

Emil Anderson earns multiple provincial contractor awards

Family-run companies with a long history in the FV were recognized for excellence in grading and community service

Homes in Hope sparkling for the holidays: Part 1

Hope photographer Ray Daws shares some festive sights

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Chilliwack-Hope MP gives a pre-Christmas ribbing in rhyme in Parliament

Conservative Mark Strahl gets his poem in before Liberal Rodger Cuzner rises to do same

#MeToo at work: B.C. women share horrifyingly common sexual assaults

It happens to more people than you might think and impacts women inside and outside of the workplace

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Missing Alberta man could be headed to Victoria

Police in Alberta say Vernon “Allan” Pickard has not been heard from since late November

Supreme Court rules in case involving Langley firm

The case involved two people working for separate contractors on a Delta road project.

The Force will be with bidders at massive Stars Wars auction

Able Auctions at 19757 92A Ave. hosts event that’s open to public Saturday

Cineplex charges extra at some Star Wars screenings

Fans are getting a surprise twist at the box office with extra $1 charges for assigned seating

Toddler sent to hospital following dog bite at Vancouver Island daycare

Malamute/husky cross involved in incident at 1200-block of Burnside Rd. West

Most Read