VANCOUVER, B.C. – CO2 emissions in B.C. continue to increase even with the Provinces Carbon Tax.
Provincial data shows CO2 emissions went up from 61.3 million tones in 2015 to 62.3 in 2016 (the most recent data available). CO2 levels have increased in five of the last six years that data is available.
Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says “The carbon tax costs everyday people a lot of money, and it’s not reducing CO2 emissions, so why are we doing this?”
The carbon tax is set to increase in 2019 for British Columbia to $40 per tonne from $35.
“B.C. is a sad example showing that a Canadian carbon tax doesn’t work the way politicians tell us it will: it doesn’t reduce CO2 emissions, it doesn’t create a ‘social license’ for our natural resources, and it costs regular people a lot of money just to live their lives,” said Sims. “People need to get to work, they need to get their kids to school and they need food from the grocery store – these aren’t frivolous luxuries that they can cut back on even when they’re punished with a carbon tax.”
The federal government’s new carbon pricing system comes into effect in 2019 in provinces that don’t have carbon pricing mechanisms of their own. The carbon price outlined by Ottawa starts at a minimum of $20 a tonne and rises $10 annually until 2022.
Last week Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters that government officials are saying the tax would need to rise to $100 per tonne for it to be effective at reducing carbon emissions, and he says the federal environment department is planning for a carbon tax of $300 per tonne.
“So we know Justin Trudeau will raise the carbon tax higher. His experts are telling him to. His own government departments are telling him to,” Scheer said.
“At that price home heating bills will rise by more than $1,000 a year and gas prices would go up by more than 60 cents a litre.”
When asked by a reporter about his own plan to fight climate change, Scheer responded that the Conservatives’ plan will help reduce global emissions by capitalizing on Canada’s clean technology and cleaner energy, which he said will also keep manufacturing jobs in Canada instead of moving to countries without those things.
Canada’s former parliamentary budget officer predicted in a report in April that the federal government’s carbon tax will cut economic growth by 0.5 percent or $10 billion dollars when it’s fully implemented in 2022, and would generate significant revenues.
However, Jean-Denis Frechette’s report noted the impact on the economy will depend on how those revenues are used.
Trudeau says Ottawa will return 90 percent of the money it collects from a carbon tax to Canadians.
Saskatchewan is asking its Court of Appeal to rule on whether the carbon tax is unconstitutional and has argued its climate change plan is enough to reduce emissions and a carbon tax would hurt the Saskatchewan economy.