Is Premier Christy Clark changing her tone on the BC carbon tax? Yesterday in a conference call with reporters, ahead of the First Ministers meeting in Ottawa, she cautioned that the new federal carbon tax being mandated by Justin Trudeau needs to be fair and equitable across our country.
British Columbia and Alberta will both be using a price per tonne of carbon tax, while Ontario and Quebec have opted for a cap and trade system.
A recent study by the Canadian Ecofiscal Commission compared cap-and-trade to a price per tonne model. The study showed that while BC and Alberta will be paying $30/tonne of carbon by 2018, the marginal rate for Ontario and Quebec under cap and trade will only be $19/tonne by 2020.
Clark reacted to this difference by telling reporters yesterday, “There’s nothing good about people in Terrace paying double in their carbon price than people in Toronto.”
Premier Clark is right, but she needs to go further:
She needs to make a commitment to link BC’s carbon tax to the same price as the national carbon tax. We’ve already paid our fair share of carbon taxes since 2008. Now it's time to reduce the burden on the BC taxpayer who is already suffering from some of the highest living expenses in North America.
Of course, scrapping the carbon tax both provincially and federally is the only true way to stay competitive, now that the US has indicated they will be going a completely different direction under Trump. Our neighbour Washington State has rejected a carbon tax, and one of BC’s LNG competitors, Australia, scrapped their carbon tax after just two years.