Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday June 24, 2008

Carbon tax has no supporters around here

By BILL TIELEMAN


Gordon Campbell's government is so out of touch with real hard working British Columbians.

- Jeri Grant on Axe The BC Gas Tax - Facebook group

On Tuesday, July 1, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell will make our incredibly high gasoline prices even more expensive by imposing a new gas tax of 2.4 cents a litre.

Here are the top eight reasons Campbell should immediately reconsider and drop the gas tax.

1. Since we started the online Facebook protest group "Axe The BC Gas Tax" in this column June 10, the membership has grown from just myself to nearly 6,000 members.

2. An Ipsos-Reid poll shows that 59 per cent of British Columbians oppose the new gas or carbon tax, with 45 per cent strongly opposed. Even a majority of Green Party supporters - 53 per cent - oppose the gas tax, as well as 56 per cent of B.C. Liberals and 58 per cent of New Democrats.

3. Campbell claims that the gas tax is "revenue neutral" but it is only revenue neutral for the provincial government, not individual taxpayers who have no choices available to reduce their consumption of gas, diesel, heating fuel, natural gas and other carbon-based products hit by the tax.

4. The idea of a carbon tax is to increase fuel costs to encourage conservation - but gas prices have already gone up 45 cents a litre since October 2007 and 38 cents since February 2008 - isn't that enough to discourage driving without adding a gas tax insult to injury?

5. If we don't stop the gas tax now it will keep going up every year until it reaches 7.25 cents a litre in 2012.

6. On top of the new gas tax, the B.C. government is making enormous amounts of windfall revenue from existing taxes charged on every litre of gasoline - the higher the price, the more money they get. UPDATE - The GST applies to gas but not the PST, so only the federal government directly benefits from higher prices - regrets for my error.

7. Campbell announced a provincial transit plan in January worth $14 billion to double the number of buses, build the Evergreen rapid transit line and make other improvements - but his government will only fund about $5 billion of it and it won't be completed until 2020. Where are the options right now for public transit with soaring gas prices?

8. Why is the government hypocritically increasing gas taxes on its citizens when B.C. mines about $2 billion in coal and exports much of it to China for dirty coal-burning power plants that create enormous amounts of greenhouse gas? Greenhouse gases are a global problem and our coal is a huge part of it.

There's still time to convince Premier Gordon Campbell - go to http://www.facebook.com/ and join this protest. Type in "Axe The BC Gas Tax" - no periods after B or C - or search my name.

15 comments:

North Van's Grumps said...

The one unifying force that dumped the NDP from power was public opposition to the van photo camera radar program and put a landslide of BC Liberals in as Government.

Congratulations Gordon Campbell.

Now, in regards to your ill planned Carbon Tax, on top of your Motor Fuel Tax and on top of your Provincial Sales tax, both used for the same purposes.... I don't know why you just don't combine the two of them into one...or have you been waiting to make it three into one....

Will oppositon candidates at the next by-election, or full blown election in May 2009, whether they be NDP, Green, or Independent, simply have to say "Carbon Tax is to be axed, vote the Max for me" and in a blink of an eye (much quicker than your ninety day wonder of promises and cameras vans gone in one day) you'll be sitting in Opposition, watching while others cebebrate down at the Vancouver Convention Centre for finally a drop in the price of gasoline.

Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary, Bill. Please keep up the pressure on this issue.

As for transit, those of us in the Valley, the Interior, the north and the east don't have adequate, reliable transit. It's really a tax that will hit rural communities hard.

Not all of the elderly people and the disabled are able to take transit, even if they are lucky enough to have access to it for various reasons. They will be hit hard as well, when they are already living on reduced incomes.

We will need more than transit to get us around the province in the future. We need electrical and hydrogen fuelled vehicles. Many jobs require the use of a vehicle and not everyone is able to take transit as I said before. Some transit commutes are ridiculously long at 2 hours plus... those people will need a vehicle to drive.

It's an utopian dream to believe that we will all be able to use transit all of the time.

G West said...

I see the counter attack has begun in earnest - with Andrew Weaver leading the charge - stepping in in Campbell's stead.

As a consultant who recommended this phony market solution to Campbell in the first place he's hardly impartial and, in the statements I heard on CBC today, he sounded more like a Campbell attack dog in his condemnation of the NDP.

Very strange that a man with his academic credentials couldn't muster more of a reasoned case for this money laundering scheme than that. I'd suggest this is the usual response from someone who is unsure of himself - attack his critics rather than defend his program.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the man contesting for a Liberal riding in the 09 election....

Anonymous said...

It makes as much sense as attempting to bribe voters with their own money ($100].

Re new Skytrain route, 2nd avenue has been reduced to 2 lane traffic. WE VOTE!

Anonymous said...

Actually I HOPE Campbell keeps the tax. It will be more fodder come election time. If he recindes it now it makes him look good for recognizing what we all know. If he waits and recinds it just prior to the election it makes it look like he is doing it for political purposes,(which is is)

I am DEFINETLY NOT an NDP supporter but am leaning that way for the next election to get rid of him.



Horny toad

DPL said...

Boy oh boy, I got my cheque yesterday with assorted inserts, all of which use trees, labour and for what? The local newspaper editorial asked why in God's name ouldn't the money go to direct deposits as so many people use that system? Answer of course is it wouldn't be a PR event. The CBC has been flogging the story for days, as was The Tyee. Gordo sure hires some sharp PR folks.

The NDP are now seen as greedy as they ask supporters to send them the money and get a tax rebate. Not the sharpest though. So another 45 millions or so blown to help get Campbell relected. My 100 will go to help pay for some physio as Gordon managed to stop allowing such things under the medical plan.

Dosange did a similar thing with BC Hydro rebates. He went federal when he lost the election. People like money but they all arn't stupid when folks attempt to buy their vote. But Gordo is betting they will vote for him anyway.
Gordo won't change his mind becuase he is a arrogant little fellow who totally controls the MLAs in his caucus

DPL said...

Boy oh boy, I got my cheque yesterday with assorted inserts, all of which use trees, labour and for what? The local newspaper editorial asked why in God's name ouldn't the money go to direct deposits as so many people use that system? Answer of course is it wouldn't be a PR event. The CBC has been flogging the story for days, as was The Tyee. Gordo sure hires some sharp PR folks.

The NDP are now seen as greedy as they ask supporters to send them the money and get a tax rebate. Not the sharpest though. So another 45 millions or so blown to help get Campbell relected. My 100 will go to help pay for some physio as Gordon managed to stop allowing such things under the medical plan.

Dosange did a similar thing with BC Hydro rebates. He went federal when he lost the election. People like money but they all arn't stupid when folks attempt to buy their vote. But Gordo is betting they will vote for him anyway.
Gordo won't change his mind becuase he is a arrogant little fellow who totally controls the MLAs in his caucus

Gazetteer said...

DPL said....

"Gordo sure hires some sharp PR folks.


Well, actually, hundreds.

.

Frédéric Van Caenegem said...

Hi Bill!

While I don't support the BC Liberals at all, I think the Carbon Tax is a step in the right direction. I even think it's not high enough. After all, the fate of the planet is at stake and if we don't take courageous but attainable measures now we'll be in a much worst situation when... there won't be any petrol left. Gas prices are going up and it will never go back. The Carbon Tax is a good idea.

What is not a good idea is tax credits for corporations and lack of funding into public transit. Because if we tax gasoline many people will need an alternative mean of transportation.

The Carbon tax is a step in the right direction, but I'm afraid the BC Liberals are not up for the challenge of the future: building an environmentally sustainable society.

Thanks,
Frédéric.

Anonymous said...

WHAT COULD BE:

If the NDP somehow "lost" Ms. James then the Campbellite Country-Club-Empire would be toast.

Maybe, if people can remember this phoney eco-tax and the other outrages . . . then "maybe" next year we could see a change.

But I doubt it.

The GREAT SATAN

DPL said...

Just looked at Bill's face book item More than 7,000 folks seem to agree with him. Gordo is starting to spin the tax as will all the Liberal hacks

Stephen Rees said...

6. On top of the new gas tax, the B.C. government is making enormous amounts of windfall revenue from existing taxes charged on every litre of gasoline - the higher the price, the more money they get.

Not quite. The federal GST is the only tax that works that way. Provincial tax is levied per litre not by price - so the amount of revenue per litre sold to the province is the same no matter what the price. If consumption falls due to the high prices so does total revenue. In fact if Translink was really successful in reducing car use, its revenue would actually fall, as gas sales declined!

Anonymous said...

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20080629/BC_Carbon_Tax_Debate_080629/20080629/?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

Bill, what about a protest in Stanley Park on BC Day, August 4th?

DPL said...

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=38c59d33-a0ef-4180-b07b-4114db5bc704

Today's Vancouver Sun's article about Bill's facebook is of interest

Anonymous said...

RickW
Just a thought, but is the real reason that Campbell did not apply the Carbon Tax to the oil and gas companies, is that it would contravene NAFTA when it came to exports -- something that he definitely does not want BC'ers (or TROC) to realize?