British Columbia's Opposition leader is promising to immediately cut the provincial carbon tax on all fuels and stop planned future increases if elected to form government next year.
B.C. United Leader Kevin Falcon says his party would give motorists a break by eliminating the provincial fuel tax — currently about 15 cents per litre on gasoline and diesel — and remove the carbon tax on all home-heating fuels.
The B.C. United position comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a temporary exemption for the federal carbon tax on home heating oil that doesn't apply to B.C. because the province has its own carbon tax.
Falcon says B.C. United would also lower grocery costs by removing the carbon tax on farm fuel, reducing operational costs for farmers.
He estimates his proposed cuts would have an impact on provincial revenues of almost $5 billion over three years, which is about two per cent of the B.C. budget.
During question period in the legislature, Premier David Eby called Falcon a "weather vane,'' for changing his previous carbon tax support in favour of shifting federal political winds.
B.C. United, formerly the B.C. Liberals, introduced the B.C. carbon tax in 2008 under then-premier Gordon Campbell.
The purpose of the program is to put a price on carbon pollution to disincentivize the burning of fossil fuels and encourage the uptake of alternative, less polluting energy sources.
Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – are by far the largest contributors to global climate change, according to the United Nations.