While the province has pledged to review its carbon tax this year, Environment Minister Terry Lake warned Tuesday it won’t be dropped by the B.C. Liberal government.
“We’d be $1 billion short,” Lake told reporters following a speech by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon in Kamloops.
“We’d have to increase other taxes. Those who say ‘get rid of the carbon tax’ — we’re not getting rid of the carbon tax.”
Falcon announced the carbon tax review in the latest budget. He was asked questions at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon to justify its existence by John Sternig, a director for TNRD, as well as former Kamloops Chamber president Peter Aylen.
Aylen called it a “cascading tax” that piles on, hurting some sectors.
The tax is designed to curtail use of fossil fuels.
Falcon said the province is reviewing the tax, scheduled for its final increase in July, because the United States, federal government and other Canadian provinces have not followed this province’s lead.
Falcon said the review will look at “good and bad” of the tax brought in by former premier Gordon Campbell, who won an election in 2008 with the carbon tax as a major part of the campaign.
Lake will soon hold a Twitter town hall meeting on the tax, what he called a “soft launch.”
“It’s a good way to connect with British Columbians. . . . It’s used by so many people. You look at demographics. Women in their 30s, 40s and 50s use Twitter a lot.”
The date for the Twitter-based event has not been set.