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

UPDATE: Shrapnel narrowly missed firefighters in ‘suspicious’ Campbell River house fire

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

UPDATE: Fire in abandoned Campbell River house deemed suspicious

Reports of homeless people using vacant home at 666 8th Ave.

Campbell River man in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 by Monday afternoon

Campbell River firefighters respond to four structure fires in a week

North Campbell River fire deemed ‘suspicious’

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

Olympic skier from B.C. suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Most Read