Lehigh cement plant in Delta is one of the industries affected by B.C.’s carbon tax, giving a price advantage to U.S. and Asian producers. LNG plants add another major emitter. (Black Press files)

Lehigh cement plant in Delta is one of the industries affected by B.C.’s carbon tax, giving a price advantage to U.S. and Asian producers. LNG plants add another major emitter. (Black Press files)

Tripling carbon tax will cost B.C. jobs, add to debt, study estimates

B.C. to match federal tax in 2022, then rise from $50 to $170

B.C.’s carbon tax on fuels will be harmonized with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal tax as of next year, when both reach $50 a tonne, and the rapid climb to $170 by 2030 will cost jobs and increase government deficits, a new study says.

The increase is expected to cost B.C. more than 20,000 jobs over that time, push up deficits already ballooning from the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, and shrink the national economy by about two per cent, says a study released March 16 by economist Ross McKitrick, a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute.

“The federal government has said the higher carbon tax will have ‘almost zero’ impact on the economy, but in fact, a tax of that magnitude will have significant effects on the economy and on workers across the country, including in B.C.,” McKitrick said. The findings reinforce other studies that show negative as well as positive effects of carbon tax on Canada.

Story continues below video

B.C. pioneered retail carbon taxes in Canada, having imposed one at $30 per tonne in 2008. A decade of results show why Ottawa is poised to rapidly increase it in an effort to meet Canada’s international greenhouse gas targets. B.C.’s tax has had little impact on greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen steadily and are expected to grow significantly with the addition of liquefied natural gas exports from northeast B.C. shale gas deposits.

RELATED: B.C. NDP raises carbon tax, ends ‘revenue neutral’ tax cuts

RELATED: B.C. carbon tax costs more than natural gas it’s charged on

B.C.’s emissions rose seven per cent in 2018, the latest year of available statistics, and the province counted offsets from forest management projects to bring the net increase for 2018 to six per cent.

McKitrick also examines Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim that the rapidly rising carbon tax on gasoline, diesel, natural gas and other fuels will “most likely” leave people better off, due to tax rebates based on household income.

“We find that, even after taking account of the rebates and the stimulative effect of new spending, average real household consumption falls in every province by between 0.5% and 2.2%,” the study says. “While it is possible that the government’s goal is feasible, depending on the distribution of impacts it may be diffcult to achieve in practice.

“Furthermore, it will not be feasible for the government to rebate the majority of carbon-tax revenues without increasing the federal defcit. The increased carbon tax will cause the rest of the tax base to shrink, offsetting much of the new tax revenues. If the government rebates 90% of the carbon tax revenues to households, spends the remainder, and keeps all other tax rates constant, it will permanently increase government deficits by about $24 billion annually.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicscarbon tax

Just Posted

The SS Sicamous was decked out in poppies on Remembrance Day and lights at Christmas time. The Sicamous won’t be able to open again because of COVID restrictions. (Monique Tamminga - File photo)
The SS Sicamous was decked out in poppies on Remembrance Day and lights at Christmas time. The Sicamous won’t be able to open again because of COVID restrictions. (Monique Tamminga - File photo)
Penticton’s historic paddlewheeler likely won’t open for a second year

The SS Sicamous Society is getting lots of restoration work done during the closure

The new cases reported over the week of May 2 to 8. (BC CDC)
Weekly COVID-19 cases on the decline in the South Okanagan

Summerland saw its daily cases per capita return to normal levels after a spike

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Over 42,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine given to South Okanagan residents

That includes more than half of the residents in the Penticton local health area

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

File photo of osprey. Black Press Media
VIDEO: Livestream of osprey birds and their babies in Kelowna

FortisBC sets up a nest with livestream camera in Kelowna for Ospreys

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry could have lessons for other provinces: lawyer

4 reports concluded the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal cash linked to organized crime and the drug trade impacted the province’s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Susan Larsen, who still lives on her own, celebrates her 100th birthday on May 16, 2021. (Contributed)
99-year-old Vernon woman eagerly awaiting second COVID-19 vaccine

Susan Larsen celebrates her 100th birthday May 16

Nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine. (Kareem Elgazzar/AP)
B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Health officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon

Richard Green writes poetry under the nom de plume Rick the Poet Warrior. Homeless, Green sometimes spends his summers in Revelstoke but winters in Victoria, travelling to Ontario to visit his sister whenever he can. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke nomad pens poetry, offers insight into homelessness

Rick the Poet Warrior’s books can be found online as well as at the Revelstoke library

Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner Andrea Inness walks beside an enormous western red cedar stump in a BCTS-issued cutblock in the Nahmint Valley. (PHOTO COURTESY TJ WATT)
Watchdog: logging practices put Vancouver Island old growth, biodiversity at risk

Forest Practices Board has issues with BC Timber Sales practices in Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni

Erik Christian Oun, who worked for the Coquitlam school district, has had his teaching licence suspended for half a year. (Pixabay)
B.C. teacher suspended after calling students ‘cutie’ and ‘sweetheart’ in online messages

Erik Oun’s licence has been suspended for half a year, a decision made by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Most Read