Fix-it woman

Provincial New Democrat Saanich South MLA-elect Lana Popham said yesterday her party should call on the government to fix rather than axe the carbon tax. In an interview with Public Eye Radio, Ms. Popham said, "The carbon tax is going up in July. Is that changing our behaviour? It's not changing our behaviour. What I want to see, what I would like to see is for us as a party to say to the Liberals, 'When that tax goes up, the increase in that tax needs to go specifically into alternative transportation choices and infrastructure. That would make a difference."

So should the New Democrats revisit their opposition to the carbon tax? "I think they were opposed to Gordon Campbell's carbon tax. The NDP is strong on cap-and-trade. And that's going to be brought in across North America. We need all tools. So do I think there needs to be a tax on carbon? Yes I do. Do I think there's opportunity to work with it? Yes I do. We're stuck with it for four years. So let's use it."

In other words, Ms. Popham confirmed she would prefer a fix the tax approach as opposed to a axe the tax approach. "And I think we don't have any choice because we have it in place for four years so let's work with it. I'm the type of person who - if I hear a good idea or see an opportunity to work with somebody - I don't care what party they're from. Let's work on it. Because we have an opportunity right now, with the carbon tax, because it's there to make some change."

1 Comment

Sounds like a good idea - invest the extra revenue in green alternatives (especially for those who currently have very little choice and are harder hit by the new tax) AND also look at closing gaps, PLUS breaks to help groups that are unfairly hit (small businesses like truckers/farmers, northern residents, etc), PLUS look at what further incentives and measures are needed to encourage people to make meaningful changes and greener choices.

We need to get on with concrete action with a comprehensive package that fixes flaws in the initial approach, that's fair and that can generate broad buy-in and enthusiasm. We should be able to do this in a way that creates sustainable new economic opportunities for small local businesses/ communities and that helps struggling BC families - not punishing people who have no choice and who are barely hanging on as it is.

Axe the Tax focussed just on the negative and came across to many as political opportunism and BC voters have rejected that. I think most people want to hear what the solutions are instead, so time for everyone to roll up their sleeves and work together to figure it out. This is a great opportunity for the NDP to move on and offer a comprehensive "fix the tax" package of solutions, IMHO.

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