B.C.’s carbon-tax changes are covered in Green thumbprints

B.C.’s carbon-tax changes are covered in Green thumbprints
  1. B.C.’s carbon-tax changes are covered in Green thumbprints
    Remember how B.C.'s carbon tax was supposed to be 'revenue neutral?' With the NDP in power, and the Greens pulling strings, those days are over. The post B.C.’s carbon-tax changes are covered in Green thumbprints appeared first on…

B.C.’s carbon tax is going up by $5 per tonne (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

British Columbians received their provincial budget update Monday, from their new government. The takeaway: Andrew Weaver has spoken; hear him roar.

Weaver doesn’t lead the government, of course. He’s not the premier with whom most voters are just now becoming familiar, the hitherto unrecognizable B.C. NDP boss John Horgan. Weaver is leader of the provincial Green Party, and he sits in an 87-member legislative assembly with just two other Green MLAs.

Their caucus numbers are small, but the Greens have clout, to be sure, thanks to a “confidence and supply agreement” with Horgan’s NDP. It was forged after a provincial election in May that saw the incumbent Liberals lose their legislative majority, their ability to govern, and finally their own leader, Christy Clark, who resigned her seat in mid-summer and quit politics, apparently forever.

Voters in B.C. elected 43 Liberals, 41 NDP candidates and three Greens. The NDP/Green agreement gives their two caucuses the balance of power, and while they aren’t in a formal coalition, they have pledged to consult with one another on legislation and policy matters, “to ensure B.C. Green caucus views can be incorporated into final decision-making.”

This explains the hodgepodge of tax increases, fee reductions and other fiscal initiatives announced in Monday’s budget update, delivered in the assembly by new NDP finance minister Carole James. While there are no real surprises embedded in the update—for NDP supporters, there’s disappointment over some program spending delays, but their reaction is no shocker—the update demonstrates the extent of Green Party influence. That, and some not-unrelated inconsistencies in the new government’s previously stated directions and intentions.

“I’m thrilled 2 support BC Budget 2017,” Weaver tweeted. “This is a budget that puts people first.” The B.C. Greens, he added, “have been heard.”

Never mind that major NDP election platform promises were pushed off the table, to be revisted another day. These include a $10 per day child care plan, which the NDP pledged to begin funding in the current fiscal year, and a $400 annual “rebate” to home renters.

Those promises “are irrelevant right now,” Weaver told reporters after the budget update was released. According to him, the “$10-per-day” part of the NDP child care pledge was always ephemeral voter-bait, nothing more. As for the housing rebate, it’s dead and gone, as far as he is concerned.

Don’t forget, Weaver added, the NDP “did not win the election. They have an agreement that has the confidence in the House.” The Green Party agreement, of course. The one that influenced the “people first” budget update Monday, and its $5 per tonne increase to the province’s carbon tax.

RELATED: What the B.C. NDP-Green deal means for the rest of Canada

Recall that Horgan and his fellow NDPers strongly opposed the carbon tax when the measure was first introduced in 2008, by then-Liberal premier Gordon Campbell. “With gas prices already so high, Campbell’s gas tax will only make life harder for ordinary people around the province,” said Carole James, who was leader of the party at the time. “And what’s worse, Campbell’s gas tax will do nothing to fight climate change.”

James and the NDP then launched an unsuccessful campaign to “axe the tax.”

Sure, that was then. Things change. Few provincial politicians strongly oppose the carbon tax now, and in fact, similar versions have been launched across Canada. But it’s also true that Horgan’s NDP did not promise to increase the carbon tax during this year’s election campaign.

Weaver’s Green Party did. Thanks to their “confidence and supply agreement,” the increase was made. It will push the total carbon tax amount in B.C. to $30 per tonne and add to the cost of fossil fuels, such as gasoline and natural gas, stuff that many British Columbians use to get to work and heat their homes.

The new government has also dec…

Traffic along Cambie Street in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
  1. Flow of infrastructure cash on the table when feds, provinces meet Thursday

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 19:58 www.ctvnews.ca
    The federal infrastructure minister wants to talk about how to better manage the flow of construction cash from Ottawa to cities when he sits down this week with his provincial and territorial…
  2. Moving from talk to action on Indigenous affairs

    Macleans.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 19:54 www.macleans.ca
    Former RCAP commissioner Paul Chartrand on how Justin Trudeau's move to split the Indigenous affairs department in two falls short The post Moving from talk to action on Indigenous affairs appeared first on…
  3. What you need to know about the proposed small business tax changes

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 19:38 www.ctvnews.ca
    The federal government has been defending its proposed small business tax changes despite opposition from many of those who will be affected. Here’s what you need to know about the Liberals’ latest tax pla…
  4. Liberal MP warns against 'class warfare' rhetoric on proposed tax changes

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 19:38 www.ctvnews.ca
    Not everyone is on board with the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been going after the rich as he defends his Liberal government's controversial tax proposals -- and that includes some members of his own…
  5. Carr calls on Scheer to condemn Conservative MP’s ‘sexist’ remark

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 19:38 www.ctvnews.ca
    Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr is demanding Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer denounce a longtime Conservative MP for his “sexist” lan…
  6. Meetings, speeches and rallies fill Justin Trudeau's day in New York

    Cbc.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 19:06 www.cbc.ca
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau found himself in the midst of a whirlwind 10-meeting day in New York City on Wednesday as he prepares Canada's campaign for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security…
  7. President Trump and the Geopolitical World Order: East Asia

    Geopoliticalmonitor.com - Politics
    09.20 / 18:14 geopoliticalmonitor.com
    The geopolitical world order is being remade under President Trump, but not necessarily in the way he intends. This series takes a region-by-region look at US foreign policy and asks: What does the decline of US power and influence mean for the world? The post President Trump and the Geopolitical World Order: East Asia appeared first on Geopolitical…
  8. Liberal MP warns against attacks on the wealthy over proposed tax changes

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 17:28 www.ctvnews.ca
    Liberal MPs headed into their weekly caucus meeting ready for a robust discussion about a controversial plan to get rid of tax provisions used by many small businesses -- a plan a number of backbenchers strongly…
  9. Countries band together to sign treaty banning nuclear weapons

    Globalnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 16:13 globalnews.ca
    The treaty requires all countries that eventually ratify it not to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire nuclear…
  10. Highway guardrail extended after deadly accident near Foxtrap

    Cbc.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 16:12 www.cbc.ca
    Crews were at work Wednesday to extend a protective guardrail on a section of the Trans-Canada Highway where an 18-year-old woman died earlier this…
  11. Justin Trudeau promotes 'progressive' NAFTA agenda before U.S. audience

    Cbc.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 16:12 www.cbc.ca
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took his so-called progressive trade agenda to the United States on Tuesday, arguing that worker-friendly policies are key to saving public support for free…
  12. Cullen says he's not concerned about Singh's lack of seat in House of Commons

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 16:03 www.ctvnews.ca
    Veteran New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen is throwing his weight behind the leadership bid of upstart candidate Jagmeet Singh, a member of the Ontario…
  13. McKenna calls out outgoing Conservative MP for sexist 'climate Barbie' tweet

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 15:40 www.ctvnews.ca
    Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna is calling out a Conservative MP for his “sexist comment” in which he appeared to call her “our climate Barbi…
  14. Veteran MP Nathan Cullen backing newcomer Jagmeet Singh for NDP leadership

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 14:32 www.ctvnews.ca
    Veteran New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen is throwing his weight behind the leadership bid of upstart candidate Jagmeet Singh, a member of the Ontario…
  15. Incoming governor general Julie Payette meets the Queen

    Cbc.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 14:19 www.cbc.ca
    Julie Payette, the retired astronaut who will become Canada's governor general on Oct. 2, has had her first audience with the…
  16. Gerry Ritz apologizes for calling environment minister 'climate Barbie'

    Cbc.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 12:54 www.cbc.ca
    Former MP Gerry Ritz has apologized for calling Catherine McKenna a "climate Barbie" on social media Tuesday…
  17. Trudeau says Canada ready to help Mexico after deadly earthquake

    Ctvnews.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 12:25 www.ctvnews.ca
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is ready to help 'our friends' in Mexico following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that killed dozens and collapsed…
  18. Trudeau defends ‘progressive’ NAFTA agenda in U.S. speech

    Macleans.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 11:18 www.macleans.ca
    Trudeau explains why his government is pushing gender equality, indigenous rights, and labour protections in NAFTA talks The post Trudeau defends ‘progressive’ NAFTA agenda in U.S. speech appeared first on…
  19. Air force eyes resale value of Super Hornets even before deal is done

    Cbc.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 09:09 www.cbc.ca
    Air force planners have advised that if Canada buys Boeing Super Hornet fighters, it would be better off with the two-seat variant because they would be easier to resell, according to documents obtained by CBC…
  20. Liberal support holds despite tax change attacks

    Cbc.ca - Politics
    09.20 / 09:09 www.cbc.ca
    The Liberals have come under fire for their proposed changes to the tax system from the opposition, small business owners, doctors and even members of their own caucus. So why are the Liberals more popular today than they were on election day nearly two years…