VANCOUVER — Voters in two B.C. ridings head to the polls on February 2, and climate change could impact their choices at the ballot box.
In the lead-up to voting day, the Pembina Institute released today the results of its 2016 B.C. Byelection Candidate Survey. Eight candidates in the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain byelections provided responses to four questions about the province’s forthcoming Climate Leadership Plan.
For example, the survey asked candidates if they support increasing B.C.’s carbon tax by $10 per tonne per year starting in 2018 (while using the incremental revenue to lower the PST from 7% to 6%, protect low-income households and implement measures to maintain the competiveness of emissions-intensive, trade-exposed industry). That’s one of the 32 recommendations of the province’s Climate Leadership Team that together could form the basis for a strong Climate Leadership Plan.
B.C. Green Party candidates Pete Fry and Joe Keithley both favour strengthening the carbon tax. According to candidates Gavin Dew and Joan Isaacs, the B.C. Liberal Party will consider increasing the carbon tax after 2018, provided four conditions are in place. Melanie Mark and Jodie Wickens of the B.C. NDP said their party is looking at ways to improve the carbon tax.
Earlier this week, the government launched a 60-day consultation period for the Climate Leadership Plan.
- B.C. is on track to miss its legislated 2020 target for reducing carbon pollution.
- The province’s carbon emissions have risen every year since 2010.
- In April 2013, the B.C. government froze the carbon tax at $30 per tonne for five years.
“We’re pleased that the candidates are thinking about these critical issues. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that the B.C. government put forward a strong Climate Leadership Plan this spring.”
— Josha MacNab, B.C. Director, Pembina Institute
“With voting day just around the corner, we appreciate that the candidates took the time to respond to our survey. With B.C.’s carbon pollution projected to continue rising, we need the provincial government to take decisive action to get us back on track.”
— Matt Horne, B.C. Associate Director, Pembina Institute
Visit the Pembina Institute’s website to download a copy of the 2016 B.C. Byelection Candidate Survey.
Backgrounder: B.C. Climate Leadership Team process and recommendations