Climate Change

BC Adopts Carbon Tax

By Jason Leach
Published February 20, 2008

It seems like all the good news is from BC lately: Lotus Land is introducing a carbon tax.

The carbon tax, effective July 1, will be phased in over five years to give consumers and businesses time to adjust to the new tax and understand there is a cost associated with generating harmful greenhouse gases, she said.

The carbon tax will start at a rate based on $10 per tonne of carbon emissions and rise $5 a year to $30 per tonne by 2012, [Finance Minister Carole] Taylor said. The tax works out to an extra 2.4 cents on a litre of gasoline, rising to 7.24 cents per litre of gasoline by 2012.

Taylor said the carbon tax on diesel and home heating oil will start at 2.7 cents per litre and increase to 8.2 cents per litre over the same five-year period.

British Columbians already pay a 3.5-cent-per-litre gasoline tax to help fund transportation projects.

"We're not just going to be talking about climate change," said Taylor. "We are acting. This could be a social movement in British Columbia."

The tax will be revenue neutral, with net revenues returning to British Columbians through other tax cuts.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.

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By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted February 20, 2008 at 18:06:04

"It seems like all the good news is from BC lately:"

'cept for all that violent crime. Vancouver has 45.3 gun-related offences per 100,000 people (National average is 27.5).

But yea, the carbon tax in BC will be an interesting case study. First of its kind in North America. Well done, BC! Let's hope the rest of the country follows suit. Oh, and let's hope it actually works to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and not just drive industry away.

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By jason (registered) | Posted February 25, 2008 at 17:05:34

"drive industry away". Yea, we haven't been doing that at all with the status quo in North America....Lol.

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By Massey (anonymous) | Posted February 25, 2008 at 17:11:21

I receive and read RTH for information and nostalgic reasons. I am a former Hamiltonian, albeit twenty-three years ago but keep in touch through friends and family. I have never been induced to comment, leaving things to the locals and the taxpayers, however I feel that before applauding this carbon tax some points should be brought to your attention. The concept of going green has my full support and the support of thousands more in this most beautiful part of the world where people share in very progressive environmental forum and a carbon tax should be applauded, however in many cases the habitat and local geography defy this enthusiasm but for economic reasons. I will give an exmple to explain. I live on Bowen Island and work at UBC. I look from my window at home, across English Bay/Burrard Inlet,and view the building in which my office is contained.To get there I drive to the ferry and cross to Horseshoe Bay and then drive through all of West Vancouver to wait in a line-up of idling cars and carbon emissions to cross the Lion's Gate Bridge and over the Stanley Park Causeway to enter Downtown Vancouver. Slow traffic through the city and then on to Burrard Street for another slow Bridge crossing to Kitsalano and the all the way out past Point Grey and the Endownment Properties to UBC. Going and coming on a good day just under one hour and on a bad (becoming normal) day two hours is fast. We have joined the people on the North Shore and in West Vancouver to have a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Point Grey or even another Bridge to twin with Lion's Gate Bridge for both economic and environmental reasons but the Government continues to wear blinders and earmuffs. Now they have decided that a Carbon Tax may solve a problem. There is no other way for the people on the Sunshine Coast or Bowen to reach the North Shore other than by car/ferry/car and then to get to the city other than to park at Horseshoe Bay for $15.00 a day plus $7.00 return bus-fare per day. British Columbia is a
mountainous region and Vancouver is a city of islands joined by bridges, the first province to have carbon tax where a good arguement can be made for the Only Province Not to Have One.

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By Councilwatch (anonymous) | Posted February 26, 2008 at 13:51:31

Commenting on Massey's excellent description of commuting in Vancouver. I have friends who live on the North Shore and work Downtown. Driving is a nightmare for them and they can avoid it by taking a bus to the Seabus for a thirty minute crossing, transferring to the Sky Train or the bus in Vancouver and walking three blocks and all for less than ten bucks a day. Only snag is that it will take them two to three hours to get to work and the same coming home. Solution, Drive the car. I agree that BC is the last place on earth to impose a Carbon Tax. Even the Greens are opposing it!

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By procarbontax (anonymous) | Posted February 26, 2008 at 19:08:02

i don't know if these are actual arguments against a carbon tax though.

a carbon tax is implemented because it has been recognized that there are additional costs to releasing carbon into the atmosphere than are currently being considered. the goal of this tax is to reduce or eliminate as much as possible, the amount of carbon being released by providing a financial incentive to releasing less carbon.

the old way of living is quickly changing in the face of an ecological crisis. we are now living in a time where length and nature of commute must be taken into account when accepting jobs and making living arrangements. unfortuntely, the adjustment may be more painful for some than others, but it is a necessary adjustment.

we have been living outside of our means for far too long.

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By Commuter (anonymous) | Posted February 26, 2008 at 21:52:20

procarbontax is this a new organization that you have just dreamed up? BC is the only province to inpose a carbon tax which is a tax on a tax, for your information ICBC grabs $45 from every motorist in Vancouver through the mandatory Air Care programm every year, so we must assume that Vancouver drivers are contributing more to environmental clean-up than any othrs in the country. Most people start out close to their place of work, it's the jobs that move to other locations so should workers start carrying their tents like Bedouins and follow?

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By Frank (registered) | Posted February 28, 2008 at 10:20:26

I have one big problem with this - why should I give the government more of my hard earned money when the money I already give them through taxes is spent frivolously or "lost"? Just because the finance minister says it's "earmarked" for environmental research or whatever she said doesn't mean it's actually going to get there! Let's face it, there are always ways to make things sound environmentally friendly-after all, if I fix a road I'm improving traffic flow and that's environmentally friendly isn't it?

Also, this is a knee-jerk reaction by a FINANCE minister to address ENVIRONMENTAL issues. Media has portrayed cars as the evil cause of global warming and if we all walked or cycled it'd get better when in actual fact that's not even the best way to approach a solution to the problem (and it's a very real possibility that global warming can only be slowed, not reversed) It's about time that decision makers sit down and do some real research and not rely on media hype generated by hypocritical politicians (Al) and fruit fly speshialists (David)! Read the Kyoto Accord, research what real scientists have to say about the issue and formulate a multifaceted approach that will have a real affect on the environment, not provide a band-aid "solution" that makes the public feel better.

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