Earlier, we reported Sierra Club of BC's new executive director George Heyman has been a critic of how the Campbell administration's carbon tax is structured. Asked about that perspective, Mr. Heyman told Public Eye, "I'm very supportive of carbon pricing. And, clearly, the Sierra Club has in the past - as have virtually every environmental organization in British Columbia - supported the implementation of the carbon tax by the Liberal government. I've never actually opposed the carbon tax."
"What I've said was I was concerned about the way this one was structured," he clarified, citing concerns the tax favours high-income earners over low-income earners. "I think that will make it even more difficult for working families to make the kinds of investments they probably would love to make in both in their transit options and their home insulation and home heating in order to vastly reduce the amount of carbon they emit. So I think whoever is government and whatever form of carbon pricing is in place we need to ensure that it is equitable and there are programs in place to actually assist people to convert."
So how will that perspective influence the club's position on the tax? "Well, the policies of the Sierra Club are set by the members and the executive committee," he said. "I've been in this job for about five days. And we're going to be discussing these issues. But I think everyone I've talked - whether it's in the Sierra Club or other environmental groups - wouldn't disagree the statement that a carbon tax shouldn't actually have a perverse impact that turns into providing greater net revenue to people who have the most and taking money out of the wallets of people who have the least and, therefore, making it more difficult for them to adopt a more carbon neutral and environmentally-friendly lifestyle."