Expand carbon tax, contain fish farms: Horgan

Juan de Fuca MLA John Horgan releases his environmental platform in Victoria Wednesday

VICTORIA – Admitting his party was wrong to campaign against the carbon tax on fossil fuels, NDP leadership candidate John Horgan has called for the tax to be extended to large industrial emitters.

Releasing what he called the first environmental platform of any leadership candidate from either party, Horgan also pledged a moratorium on new run-of-river power projects and “transitioning away” from open-pen fish farms off the B.C. coast.

Horgan denied that he is advocating the shutdown of existing fish farms. He said closed-containment technology using bags suspended in the ocean is developing, and existing leases for net-pen salmon farms will eventually expire.

“Closed containment is the only way I can see the aquaculture industry surviving in the long term,” he said.

Horgan wants a review of existing contracts with private hydro power producers. He also proposed setting up a new division of BC Hydro he calls BC Renewables, to develop publicly owned small and medium-sized hydro, wind, solar and tidal power projects.

Cement plants, natural gas plants and other large emitters of carbon dioxide pay the tax on fuel they use in vehicles and machinery, but the emissions from industrial processes were exempted when the tax was introduced in 2008. Horgan wants to end that exemption, but he acknowledges that B.C. risks pushing investment in carbon-intensive plants to Alberta or Washington state.

“The oil and gas sector is doing very well in British Columbia,” Horgan said. “The cement industry were active opponents to the carbon tax. I would sit down with carbon-intensive industries and determine what’s in the best interests of them continuing to provide employment and investment in British Columbia, but not exclusively to their benefit.”

Carbon tax revenues on gasoline and other fuels are currently offset by personal income tax cuts and credits for low-income earners. Horgan said he would use expanded carbon tax revenues to fund transit and subsidies to improve home insulation and take old cars off the road.

Just Posted

Port Alice gets two RCMP officers stationed in the village

“The second Port Alice RCMP position has been filled”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

New look and feel on the horizon for Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

“We are hoping between now and then to do another fundraising campaign for acoustics”

North Island Bantam Eagles capture Tier Three banner with win over Powell River Kings

The Eagles next game is Jan. 19 against the Juan De Fuca Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. in Port McNeill.

Mainroad meets with Regional District of Mount Waddington

“It was really nice to have Mainroad there to give a presentation to the RD”

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

Most Read