BC Chamber welcomes new updates to B.C.’s Climate Leadership Plan

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VANCOUVER, August 19, 2016 – The BC Chamber supports the provincial government’s decision not to raise the carbon tax as outlined in its updated Climate Leadership Plan released earlier today.

“B.C. is well ahead of other provinces on carbon regulation and we applaud the government’s decision to freeze the tax until other jurisdictions catch up,” said Maureen Kirkbride, Interim CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, “If the government does consider an increase in the future, then it’s important that they remain focused on ensuring carbon-intensive, trade-exposed industries are supported.”

The Climate Leadership Plan also reaffirms the government’s commitment to revenue neutrality.

“We are pleased to see a recommitment to the principle of revenue neutrality,” said Kirkbride. “However, if we’re looking at the plan through the lens of affordability, particularly for families, we should be moving toward more broad-based personal and corporate income tax relief. We are particularly interested in seeing corporate tax rates drop down to 10%.”

The BC Chamber also supports the integration of a made-in-B.C. policy to accelerate the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) for large transportation vehicles.

“Our members have long supported this initiative and it is rewarding to see our policy recognized in the plan,” said Kirkbride.  “Not only is a switch from diesel to natural gas more cost-effective for the long-distance transportation sector, it significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions – truly a win-win.”

Kirkbride cautioned that while B.C. continues to lead the way in becoming a greener, less carbon-intensive economy, the government must ensure that B.C. companies remain strong competitors in the global marketplace.

“The updated plan appears to be a realistic and balanced approach to tackling climate change,” said Kirkbride. “However, the jury is still out on what this will mean for B.C. businesses in the long-run.”