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

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Bears face Hawks, Bruins, Flyers and Bulldogs

Grizzlies lose narrowly to place second out of seven Atom teams

New garage for SAR command truck, equipment

Mobile unit and garage project to increase efficiency, reduce response time

UPDATE: Mount Milligan Mine temporarily suspends operations

There have not been any layoffs at this stage

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Most Read