Sustainable Economy Panel of Provincial Election Candidates

A Sustainable Economy for BC: a Provincial Election Discussion –

Two thoughts

1. The NDP’s Shane Simpson (called in at the last minute to replace Matt Toner) was sitting between Andrew Wilkinson representing the Liberal party which implemented BC’s carbon tax and the Conservative Duane Nickull who denied that it has been effective in reducing emissions and also echoed much of what the NDP said when campaigning it in 2005. But Simpson never took the opportunity to use Nickull’s arguments to support and explain the NDP’s 2005 position as not against the principle but just the specific implementation of the tax – eg by saying something like “Yes it is unfair and ineffective as the Liberals have implemented it, but once we are in office we can fix it and here’s how…”

2. Wilkinson’s argument that extending the tax to cover big industrial process emitters would just drive those industries out of the province without reducing emissions as we’d still have to get our cement from somewhere could be answered by taxing all products on the basis of emissions resulting from their production. This may be the only real way to make such a tax effective but would require more accounting to record the emissions from each stage of production. That’s something which looks a bit like the incremental accounting of a value added tax such as the federal GST and so argues for doing something similar with the PST to create what might be called a ‘Harmonized Sales and Carbon Tax’.  But perhaps we should call it something else…

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