Clark on carbon tax, government ads

Black Press end-of-year interview with B.C. premier: Clark on carbon tax, government ads

Tom FletcherBlack Press

 

Premier Christy Clark sat down with Tom Fletcher for a year-end interview at her Victoria office Dec. 9. Here are excerpts. For the full version, see the Opinion tab at ominecaexpress.com.

 

TF: At the UN climate conference in Paris, did you speak about natural gas as a transition fuel, and did you find support for that idea?

PCC: Yes and yes. The new government in Ottawa is a big supporter of our LNG plan, and part of the reason for that is that they also see it as a way forward for Canada to make a huge contribution to fighting global climate change.

There are 150 coal plants on the books in China today. The only way that those plants and the ones that come after will be stopped is if they have a transitional fuel to move to.

TF: B.C.’s 2020 greenhouse gas target, reduction of emissions by a third, is another target that isn’t going to be met. Why?

PCC: When the government brought in the carbon tax, it was based on the assumption that other jurisdictions around us were going to eventually catch up. And none of them have.

There comes a point where the carbon tax can only get so high before we start chasing all those jobs out of the province.

TF: Your advisory committee says the carbon tax needs to go higher starting in 2018 if it’s going to have an effect. Do you have any other choice?

PCC: Let’s figure out what the national goal is going to be, which we don’t know yet.

TF: On a related topic, transit spending. Your new minister Peter Fassbender has talked about a “new day” in Ottawa and he’s downplaying the idea of another referendum for new funding sources. Is that off the table now?

PCC: It may be possible that the federal government wants to invest more in transit, and take up some of the slack from the local government level.

TF: On LNG, oil and natural gas prices continue to go down, and supply continues to go up around the world. Did you see any positive signs this year?

PCC: What I saw this year was developing countries, especially China, making a firm commitment to reduce their emissions. The only way for them to do that is to move to a greater degree to natural gas, and the bulk of their industry is still located on the east coast of their country, a long way from Russia and close to B.C.

TF: Are we going to see some policy action on high housing costs in 2016, and will there be some relief from the property transfer tax?

PCC: You’ll see in the February budget, but we are looking for ways to provide some relief for home buyers.

TF: We’re starting to see government advertising ramp up. We saw a lot of Jobs Plan advertising before the 2013 election, we saw the federal government do it with their Economic Action Plan, which was very expensive, and to most people’s eye self-serving or political in nature at taxpayers’ expense. Is that what we’re going to see in the next year and a half?

PCC: It won’t be political. I think some of that was, really, political. You will see more information-based advertising out there, talking to people about for example, the Registered Education Savings Plan.

TF: Not Jobs Plan 2.0?

PCC: I don’t think that’s in the plan. I wish I could say to you no, never, but I, you know….

 

Just Posted

District of Vanderhoof contracts YMCA for aquatic centre

Announcement brings mixed reaction from community

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Community and collaboration drive Binche Fishing Derby

Family time, forward thinking and positive initiatives to be highlighted

Nechako Valley Exhibition holding regional talent competition

Solo vocalists and instrumentalists wanted

Audit finds Canfor did not comply with bridge maintenance legislation

Per a news release issued by the Forest Practices board, an independent… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Second Narrows Bridge collapse survivor remembers tragic day

Kelowna’s Norm Atkinson remembers what it was like to survive B.C. ‘s worst industrial accident

Lions need to focus on football after disruptive fan incident: coach

Wally Buono says his players need to focus on football after defensive back Marcell Young hit a fan

Liberals set hiring, procurement rules for federally-funded projects

Indigenous Peoples, recent immigrants, veterans, young people, people with disabilities and women to be hired

Get your hot dog water, only $40 in Vancouver

‘Hot Dog Water’ seller in Vancouver gets laughs, sales with savvy marketing

Privacy questions linger in Canada-U.S. terror list deal struck

Two years after Canadian and U.S. security agencies signed an updated agreement officials consider privacy risk

Manitoba MP was allegedly abusive at Red Cross shelter

Canadian Red Cross has filed a complaint that Liberal backbencher MaryAnn Mihychuk ignored protocol

Fiery crash closes Highway 5 near Barriere

The stretch of highway won’t be open until at least 10 a.m., DriveBC says

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Most Read