Strong National Support for British Columbia's Carbon Tax: Survey

Poll also shows Canadians want carbon tax revenues invested in cleaner energy

May 26, 2008
Media Release

Over 70 per cent of Canadians consider British Columbia's recent introduction of a carbon tax "a positive step," according to a national poll released today by the Pembina Institute.

The poll, conducted by McAllister Opinion Research from April 29 to May 9, surveyed 1,007 Canadians aged 18 years and older. A random sample of this size yields a margin of error of 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

"These results show that Canadians want much stronger action on climate change," said Matt Horne, Acting Director of British Columbia Energy Solutions at the Pembina Institute. "British Columbia's carbon tax demonstrates the type of leadership that Canadians want to see from other provinces and the federal government."

Of those surveyed, the poll found 72 per cent in support of British Columbia's carbon tax, with 27 per cent calling the initiative "very positive" and 45 per cent calling it "somewhat positive".

The poll also asked respondents about their preferred use of carbon tax revenues if the federal government were to implement a carbon tax. Almost one in two (47%) respondents thought that the revenues should be spent on "renewable energy like wind and solar power," while a further 16 per cent would like to see tax revenues directed toward "energy efficiency technologies." Only one in ten (11%) opted for "reduced income taxes," and just three per cent for nuclear energy.

"This poll confirms that Canadians want both a price on greenhouse gas pollution and increased public spending on climate solutions," said Clare Demerse, Senior Policy Analyst with Pembina's climate change program. "Canadians are saying clearly that a carbon tax must be accompanied by increased public investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency."

"Countries that have made significant investments in renewable energy have all developed strong manufacturing and development industries as a result," added Tim Weis, Senior Technical and Policy Advisor at Pembina. "Using a carbon tax to foster renewable energy would be an effective way to create Canadian jobs in a booming global industry while cleaning up our energy supply."

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A backgrounder describing the survey questions and findings in detail is available here.

For more information contact:

Matt Horne (British Columbia contact), 778-235-1476
Clare Demerse (national contact), 613-762-7449
Tim Weis (renewable energy specialist), 780-717-6519
Jason Doud (McAllister Research), 778-997-7506

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