New BC Finance Minister Carol James has announced a provincial budget update, including new environmental plans, especially regarding carbon tax.
- BC NDP Budget Update 2017: aims for affordability, but missing promises
- BC NDP Budget Update 2017: housing, affordability, and healthcare
Speaking to the legislature, James said we have to recognize our responsibility to address global climate change.
“Our plan is to get BC back on-track to meet our targets to cut carbon while investing the additional revenue in programs and services that help reduce emissions,” she said.
That said, here’s what the BC budget update has to offer on the environment:
- Carbon tax rate increase of $5 per tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions as of April 1, 2018
- the carbon tax rate will be increased to $50/tonne by 2021
- maximum annual amounts of low income climate action tax credit increased to $135/adult and $40/child from April 1, 2018 .
- the requirement for the carbon tax to be revenue-neutral is eliminated, so revenues can fund green initiatives and support families
Meanwhile, fighting BC’s worst wildfire season on record has weighed heavy on the budget.
“While we help manage the current crisis, we will prepare for future wildfire seasons so we can keep people safe and protect our communities,” said James.
That said, here’s what the budget update has to offer in terms of wildfire commitments:
- the 2017 wildfire season is estimated to have cost the new government $506 million.
- there will be at least $155 million investment in wildfire infrastructure and prevention.
- volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers will get a $3,000 non refundable tax credit.