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BC Liberals consider ditching carbon tax

The political party that introduced the carbon tax to British Columbia is considering calling for its elimination.

A resolution to be debated at the BC Liberal Party convention in Whistler says, "The elimination of the carbon tax would benefit the economy of British Columbia by facilitating [an] equal economic playing field with other adjoining Provinces and States."

Doing so would reduce the cost of all products that require fossil fuels, as well as transportation and heating, but would lift the incentive to cut fossil fuel use, it said.

Eliminating the tax, which former premier Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal government introduced in 2008 and which the government is reviewing, emerged as a theme in a "free enterprise Friday" session with Finance Minister Mike de Jong.

"We need to take a hard look at the carbon tax because of the impact on low income families and the fact it's not working," Mike Klassen told the session. Klassen supported the carbon tax when it was introduced and believes reducing greenhouse gasses is a good idea, but said it makes sense to scrap it since there's no evidence it has reduced emissions.

John Kettle, from Nelson, said rural people will vote against the Liberals if the government keeps the carbon tax. "They see us as the reason they can't continue their lifestyles."

Resolutions for the convention were raised through an online suggestion process.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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