Carbon tax unfair: Masset’s mayor

  • Mar. 12, 2008 7:00 p.m.

The provincial government’s new carbon tax is going to hit islanders harder than just about anybody else in BC, says Masset mayor Barry Pages, and should be changed so that northern and rural residents aren’t unfairly impacted. “We’re paying dramatically more than most people, they’ve got to look at giving us a break,” Mr. Pages told council members Monday night (March 10). “We don’t have BC Transit, we have no options here.” Council voted to write a detailed letter to Finance Minister Carole Taylor outlining its concerns and asking for a tax break. Mr. Pages said he understands Victoria is trying to use the tax to encourage people to use public transit, but that’s not a possibility for islanders, who will have no alternative but to pay even higher prices for gas and diesel. Mr. Pages pointed out that even without the additional tax, islanders pay about 15 cents per litre more at the pump than in Prince Rupert. The new tax, which will be applied starting July 1, will add 2.4 cents to a litre of gas and 2.8 cents to a litre of diesel, but these rates will rise by 2012 to 7.2 cents per litre for gas and 8.3 cents per litre for diesel. They also apply to home heating fuel, which will have the same extra charge as diesel. Mr. Pages said that islanders will be affected in other ways besides at the gas pump. Prices at stores will rise as freight companies pass on additional expenses, and people who heat their homes with oil or other fossil fuels will also face higher bills.

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