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

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

The District of Peachland seen from the skies over Highway 97. (Contributed)
Peachland council supports RDCO emergency operations grant application

The district’s emergency operations are managed regionally

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Young woman charged in stabbing death of Penticton teen pleads guilty

The teen, who can’t be named, will appear in Kelowna Supreme Court Tuesday

A crane stands in the middle of a fire-ravaged Glenmore Road construction site on Thursday, April 8. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Evacuation order remains in effect around burned Glenmore Road construction site

Assessment of potentially risky crane to take place this afternoon

Kelowna-based company GTEC Cannabis Co. has paid off $6 million in debts. (GTEC Cannabis Co. - Facebook)
Kelowna cannabis company pays off $6M debt

GTEC Cannabis Co. is now one of the few debt-free companies in the sector

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read