Yesterday, Lafarge announced they would be shutting down the cement plant in Kamloops, BC and laying off 36 employees, citing tough economic conditions.
The closure comes only a year after Arclin Performance Applied shut their chemical plant.
In the case of the Lafarge plant, there is good evidence that the BC Carbon tax, now eight years old, contributed to the closure.
Not only has the BC government raised the carbon tax from $10/ton up to $30/ton, but cement imports to BC have gone up from 5 per cent when the carbon tax was introduced to BC in 2008, to 40 per cent in 2015.
And it’s not just the cement industry that’s feeling the negative impacts of the BC carbon tax. In 2015, Catalyst Paper Corp. paid $9 million in carbon taxes on the natural gas it consumed, and another $8 million to shippers that also pay the tax.
A pulp mill and plywood plant is set to be the only heavy industry left in Kamloops, and they are under extreme pressure from this tax as well.
That pressure will only increase come 2021 when the federal tax comes into effect in BC, bringing the rate to $40/ton.