Remember when the Carbon Tax ruined BC?

Almost two years ago the naysayers were coming out:

To launch a carbon tax now in the face of a potential recession would be foolhardy. Those gouged by it would be forced to cut spending on other goods and services, aggravating the slowdown and triggering further unemployment.

While I don’t like Gordon Campbell and his party, and Carole James attack of the tax was very misguided, you have to admit the tax hasn’t crippled BC. BCs GDP hasn’t dropped any more than the rest of Canada, and it looks like BC will actually be doing quite reasonably next year.

Now, the actual environmental effects of this tax may take a while to see, but it is good to point out that you can have both an economy and an environmental platform.

It’s also worth noting that some of the arguments against the HST (that it will slow spending) were the same as those against the Carbon Tax, and I’ll agree that they’re likely alarmist arguments. But I still oppose the HST since it fails to do anything for the people of BC and Ontario. Since tax cuts are just being straight shifted to large businesses, and is costing every Canadian $200 ($6 billion in handouts from Ottawa) before the tax is even in place. Further, the tax comes with a load of strings, limiting the ability of BC and Ontario to exempt products from the tax in the future. While harmonization may make sense, using it as a method of tax structure shifting is wrong.

3 thoughts on “Remember when the Carbon Tax ruined BC?”

  1. I don’t think the BCNDP’s objections to the carbon tax were to the concept of a carbon tax, but to how the tax was going to be applied, and who would be paying it.
    For example, on the surface it seems like a great idea to say “we’re going to put a carbon tax on fuel to penalize people who drive vehicles rather than use transit, then invest some of that money into improving transit.” It’s really great if you live in the lower mainland, Victoria, Prince George or Kelowna, where you can actually take transit, but it’s not so good for people in the rest of the province, who have no choice but to have a vehicle.

  2. lol Denny. Have you ever used public transit in Kelowna? In a lot cases it’s faster to walk to your destrination than to wait for a bus. Most Kelowna residents agree that the transit system here is pathetic. That’s why our roads are full of cars with only one passenger.

  3. Thanks for the post, Ian

    While the BC Carbon Tax isn’t exorbitant, and likely isn’t sufficient to make a short-term impact on GHG emissions, it is an interesting first step, one that the rest of Canada appears afraid to take.
    This is actually a beautiful illustration of the advantage of federal state with strong sub-national units, as opposed to a centralised state (Britain, France) or a federal state with relatively weak sub-national units (the US). In Canada, when everything is working ideally (which it usually isn’t), provinces can work as policy test cases. The smaller scale allows strong premiers to pioneer and improve a new policy for their province, with the other premiers watching to see if it succeeds or fails. If it works, it can be used to fight down opposed vested interests which are strongest fighting an untested policy change. The best case of this is healthcare in Saskatchewan, which required a monumental fight for Tommy Douglas, but was so successful that it was soon implemented across Canada.
    As a big fan of the carbon tax, I thank Gordon Campbell. Now we have to start working on Alberta.

Comments are closed.