By Jordan Bateman, BC CTF. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today applauded the provincial government for scrapping the Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) as a standalone government agency. The move will save taxpayers $5.6 million a year.
“This is a huge step forward for the government – acknowledging that one of its own creations was hopelessly flawed,” said Jordan Bateman, the B.C. Director of the CTF. “Over the past five years, the PCT has taken money from frontline government services like schools and hospitals, wasted millions in bureaucracy, and spent the rest on corporate welfare for some of B.C.’s biggest companies.”
The CTF has been calling on government to kill the Pacific Carbon Trust for years through op-eds, advocacy work, and three provincial budget presentations. Earlier this year, the B.C. auditor general reviewed the PCT and reinforced the CTF’s position that the PCT was a sham.
Despite the news today, there is still more work to be done, Bateman noted. The CTF wants the legislation forcing school boards, health authorities, universities, colleges and other government agencies to buy carbon credits to be repealed.
“Who in their right mind considers a school or hospital a polluter?” questioned Bateman. “Taxpayers are spending millions on buying carbon credits for these facilities rather than providing frontline services.”
For example, Surrey School District spent $525,952 in PCT credits last year, and Interior Health spent $1.24 million.
Bateman cited reporters Gordon Hoekstra and Bob Mackin, former MLA Bob Simpson, Vancouver School Board chair Patti Bacchus, and even the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for their work fighting the PCT over the years.
“When such disparate viewpoints can all agree that a government program is flawed, it must be bad,” said Bateman. “Hopefully the provincial government will finish the job and change the carbon credit legislation soon.”