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Build a Better Future for BC with Carbon Tax

A new video from five of British Columbia’s leading environmental groups challenges candidates in the provincial election to do better on climate change initiatives.

“British Columbians already have a policy that is fighting climate change and helping to create secure and well-paying jobs: the carbon tax,” says a video from the group entitled Better Future BC. “With a few upgrades, it can be made even more effective, and it can also drive a potent investment engine that we’re calling the Better Future Fund.”

“It’s clear that BC is at a crossroads,” says David Suzuki Foundation science and policy manager Ian Bruce. “In the past, BC has shown leadership on climate change although that has waned over the last few years. There’s certainly a threat that the next government could prioritize boom and bust industries like the oil and gas industry.”

Better Future Fund – The Time is Now from VoVo Productions on Vimeo.

Bruce says that it can sometimes be a challenge to show how a policy like a carbon tax can have a tangible impact on people's lives. He believes that showcasing proponents like Pulse Energy CEO David Helliwell and North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto will give people an idea of the concrete benefits of the plan.  

As of today, all four major parties have announced their plans for a carbon tax. The Liberals announced that they planned to freeze the tax while the Conservatives planned to do away with it entirely.

The Green party was the was the most progressive, with plans to raise the tax to $50 per ton of greenhouse gas emissions. The NDP followed with a promise to extend the tax to the oil and gas industry. 

The initiative echoes a recent study by the Pembina Institute that finds that Canada is missing out on a $3 trillion clean energy economy

The video entitled Better Future Fund – the Time is Now outlines upgrades to the carbon tax system that would put BC back in the lead on climate change:

  1. Close the Carbon Loophole: There is currently “no incentive for companies to clean up their act” on carbon, says the group.
  2. Keep on Growing: raise the carbon tax by $5 per year, a move that will raise at-the-pump prices by only 4.4 cents per litre by 2016.
  3. Invest in Solutions: The increase in revenue provided by the rise in carbon tax should be put in to a Better Future Fund that would invest in “climate change solutions” such as public transportation, renewable energy and green initiatives.

In a letter to the Vancouver Sun, as well as an editorial he co-authored with Helliwell in the Victoria Times-Colonist, Bruce asserts that by following these steps, the BC government can generate $1 billion in new revenue for transit, energy efficient homes and technological innovation. 

"We all benefit from cleaner air, less traffic and jobs that matter, and the province gets to demonstrate what environmental leadership really means."

Visit Better Future BC for more details.

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We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?

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