B.C.'s carbon tax of $30 per tonne of carbon currently adds close to seven cents to the cost of a litre of gasoline.

Cities vote against carbon tax hike

Civic leaders weigh in on tax policy at UBCM, reject resumption of carbon tax increases

Municipal leaders have decided against asking the province to resume regular increases in B.C.’s carbon tax in the name of fighting climate change.

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention narrowly defeated the motion from New Westminster on Thursday, with 52.4 per cent voting no on Thursday.

The tax has been frozen at $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions since 2012 – equivalent to about seven cents a litre on gasoline. The tax also applies to natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels.

The proposal called for increases of $5 per tonne each year for five years, followed by a review. It also urged the province to break from its policy of making the tax revenue-neutral and use the extra revenue to support emission-reduction projects.

“It’s a sure-fire way to create a balance between the cost of renewables and the cost of carbon,” said Vancouver Coun. Adriane Carr, who warned this summer’s extreme drought and smoke from forest fires will be “our new future.”

But Prince Rupert Coun. Barry Cunningham cautioned a major increase in carbon tax would unfairly drive up the cost of living in northern B.C.

“If you live up north, everything is trucked up there,” he said. “This would add a lot to all our food and everything else that’s trucked up.”

Other delegates argued the carbon tax should go up by more than $5 a year and it should be expanded to target untaxed carbon emissions sources, such as methane escaping from landfills and fugitive emissions from LNG production and other industrial activity.

Mission Mayor Randy Hawes, a former B.C. Liberal MLA, said any hike in the carbon tax should continue to be dedicated to personal and corporate income tax cuts.

B.C.’s carbon tax was introduced in 2008 and attracted international interest as a potential model for reducing emissions.

A climate leadership team appointed this year by the province is to advise the government on further steps for cutting emissions.

Several demands for funding and tax policy changes did pass at UBCM.

Delegates voted to urge the province to increase its corporate income tax rate by one per cent and send the extra revenue to local governments.

Some called that idea dangerous, but advocates said municipalities are too dependent on property taxes and need an extra revenue source to rebuild infrastructure.

Civic leaders also voted to urge the province to create a seismic upgrading fund by reallocating $190 million per year of the $450 million in tax it collects on property and vehicle insurance premiums.

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Bevan Road in Cumberland is Valley’s industrial future

Latest plan shows Village’s vision for how the site can grow in years ahead

Oyster River department battles Black Creek house fire

UPDATED: House experiences extensive damage, no one inside at the time

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Cumberland sets out future meeting video policy

Only regular council meetings to be livestreamed in the future

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read