February 22, 2018

Environment minister pans idea to hike carbon tax

As a number of environmental groups call for a hike in the carbon tax BC’s Environment minister says the idea is interesting but the timing stinks.

Terry Lake says he appreciates the case made by the group, led by Tides Canada, but to hike the carbon tax now is simply not the right time.

“We need to make sure that we are, again, making those steps at the right time we are encouraging other jurisdictions to catch up to us and Washington State, Oregon are talking about it, Alberta is having discussions about raising their carbon tax on heavy emitters so I look forward to those days because I think it make it lot easier for us to make those advances.”

Lake says bc is at a competitive disadvantage with the carbon tax because those other jurisdictions are so far behind.

“Although it would certainly help us in terms of reaching our targets unfortunately it does put us in a more uncompetitive position so when the economy is fragile that is a very challenging thing to do.”

Lake also says while there is broad support for climate change initiatives, there is a caveat “But when it comes to the individual person having to pay the price the dial changes a little bit.”

Lake says the economy is also a factor, as is the impact the carbon tax causes on other industries.

“Agriculture for instance, mining, forestry, and with the return to the PST you know the competiveness issues have reared their head again so while I appreciate ideas in the document timing is very important and until we can get the rest of the world to catch up to us it is a difficult step to make.”

The group Environmental interests says increasing the carbon tax will help fund transit and create green jobs.

CKNW Vancouver News

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