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SIMS: B.C. emissions up despite highest carbon tax
Kris SimsPublishing date:Sep 12, 2020 • Last Updated 2 months ago • 3 minute read
Canadians be warned: British Columbia’s carbon tax is not working.
We pay the highest carbon tax in Canada and all we have to show for it are emptier wallets and higher emissions.
The B.C. government’s numbers show the province’s emissions have shot up 10% the past three years.
Titled Provincial Inventory 1990-2018, stats show emissions at 67.9 million tonnes in 2018. That’s up from 65.8 million tonnes in 2017 and up from 64.4 million tonnes in 2016.
Emissions have gone up in five of the last seven years.
It’s time for the government led by B.C. Premier John Horgan to go back to its roots, admit this carbon tax isn’t working and cancel it. Horgan should do this because it’s the right thing to do for the hardworking people of his province and as an example for the rest of Canada.
Horgan shouldn’t let Trudeau make the same mistakes B.C. made. Canadians can’t afford it as they struggle to recover from the COVID-19 economic mess.
When the B.C. carbon tax was first hatched in 2008, taxpayers out here were told it would be revenue neutral, that it would stop at $30 per tonne, that it would create abundant affordable alternative fuels and that it would reduce emissions.
Today, none of that is true.
Right now, the carbon tax is not revenue neutral, it’s $40 per tonne, affordable alternatives are scanty, and emissions are going up.
Over the past three years, stats show emissions increasing by 4% for gasoline-powered cars; 19% for pick-up trucks; 46% for light-duty diesel trucks; and 51% for railways in B.C.
This is an expensive failure.
The only thing this carbon tax is doing is costing us all more to drive to work, drop our kids off at school and heat our homes. This is nothing but a cash grab yanked out of the wallets of working people.
At $40 per tonne, the carbon tax costs an extra 8.9 cents per litre of gasoline and 10.2 cents extra for diesel. For natural gas, the carbon tax often costs residential customers more than the actual fuel.
Consider a B.C. commuter family driving a minivan and a pick-up truck. Filling a minivan costs more than $6 extra with the carbon tax and the pickup truck costs more than $10 extra. If the family fills up every week, that’s $900 extra every year just for this family to get to work, school and commitments.
When our carbon tax was first launched in 2008, the opposition NDP called on the B.C. Liberal government to “axe the carbon tax.” Carole James was the NDP leader back then and she called the carbon tax “lipstick on a pig.” She’s now the finance minister and her government collected more than $1.4 billion through the carbon tax in 2018. That’ll buy 140 million tubes of lipstick.
When Horgan was in opposition, he railed against the carbon tax and said it would cost people too much to drive their cars and heat their homes.
“When the carbon tax kicks in three years from now it will be seven cents per litre, what do you think the cost of home heating fuel is going to be at that time?” Horgan said in the legislature. “People in northern parts of British Columbia, people on the wild west coast where the winds blow and the temperatures drop, what’s the cost going to be for those people?”
Horgan, a man who drove trucks and worked in pulp mills before entering politics, was right about the carbon tax back then and he should do the right thing now and axe it.
He should do it both for the beleaguered B.C. taxpayer and as an example to Trudeau.
Canada needs it.
Kris Sims is the B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
Link to article: https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/sims-b-c-emissions-up-despite-highest-carbon-tax?fbclid=IwAR3pIvTEJyKqddw81vUfCUeIFPQV89Iyl3Ge39ZRgLcrO3B_G4OorGOAjcU