Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

James defends climate plan against enviro criticism

B.C. New Democratic Party leader Carole James defended her party’s environmental plans yesterday as she kicked off her local campaign in Victoria.

“We certainly agree to disagree with the environmental movement around the government’s carbon tax,” James told reporters. “We believe a bad tax is a bad tax and it’s very clear that the carbon tax isn’t working.”

Three environmental groups, including the Pembina Institute, David Suzuki Foundation and ForestEthics, held a news conference denouncing the New Democrat’s proposal to scrap the tax.

“The NDP has chosen what they think will be a publicly acceptable but climate-irresponsible approach,” said ForestEthics climate director Merran Smith, according to CBC.

“They want to step backward the pricing of carbon and backwards on the policies that are in place in the hopes that that may get them elected.”

But James said she is proud of her party’s cap-and-trade proposals and thinks this is the right direction for the province.

“I think it says everything when the only jurisdiction that has a carbon tax is British Columbia. Every other jurisdiction across North America is looking at cap and trade as the most effective way to be able to reduce emissions,” she said.

While a carbon tax receives overwhelming support from B.C.’s environmental groups, some organizations not involved in yesterday’s press conference said it is important to look at the broader climate policies of both party’s and not just focus on this one issue.

“It’s no single method of taxing climate change that’s going to make a difference,” George Heyman, executive director of the Sierra Club BC told The Hook on Saturday, adding that the current form of carbon tax has many problems and needs to be made stronger and more equitable.

He praised the NDP’s proposals for hard emissions caps, lowering transit fares and ending routine gas flaring.

Heyman also said voters must look at all environmental issues, a point echoed by Joe Foy of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, according to Public Eye Online.

“In a broader environmental sense, we are very pleased with many parts of the NDP platform,” Foy told Public Eye.

He was highly critical of the B.C. Liberal’s environmental record and questioned why the groups at the press conference would “support that or pander to it in this way.”

At yesterday's campaign launch, James also dismissed a recent report by Simon Fraser University professor Mark Jaccard that estimated 60,000 jobs could be lost as a result of the NDP’s climate change plan.

“Mark Jaccard’s assumptions are wrong,” she said. “If you take a look at the platform we put forward there [is] job creation in our platform.”

Cutting the carbon tax will save jobs, she said, especially in the agricultural and trucking industries.

The NDP platform also has a larger stimulus package than the Liberals, James said, and more targeted investments in struggling sectors such as mining, tourism, forestry and agriculture.

Garrett Zehr reports for The Hook

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus