Nobody is going to dispute the fact that British Columbia has had a carbon tax, which has been in place since 2008. But what’s less widely understood is just how successful it’s been. With more than a decade’s worth of data available, it’s now clear that it hasn’t damaged the economy the way some pundits and politicians have predicted — and would still have you believe. As BC Tech Association president and CEO Jill Tipping and the Pembina Institute’s Maximilian Kniewasser wrote in an April 2019 Globe and Mail editorial, “Among Canadian provinces, B.C. has registered the fastest rate of economic growth since 2008. B.C.’s outperformance is forecast to continue – even accelerate – through 2019 and 2020, according to RBC Economic Research. Canada’s westernmost province also boasts the lowest unemployment rate, the lowest personal-tax rate for incomes under $125,000 and one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the country.”
Not bad, right? Here’s another fact about BC’s carbon tax: Per capita emissions are down 14 percent, while the economy has grown by 26 percent. Emissions down, economy up. That’s a winning combination, and it’s one the rest of the country can and should embrace. A carbon tax and rebate is the most fair and effective way to do that.