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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth gets combative with police at Victoria hospital

VicPD officer injured, youth kept in care under Mental Health Act

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

Most Read