Green taxes on local government agenda

Municipal leaders are gathering for their annual convention in Vancouver at the end of September, and they'll be calling for changes to green taxes imposed by the B.C. government.

Municipal leaders are gathering for their annual convention in Vancouver at the end of September, and they’ll be calling for changes to green taxes imposed by the B.C. government.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities executive has given high priority to a resolution from Smithers calling for changes to the province’s carbon offset program. Municipalities and regional districts, along with school districts and health authorities, are required to buy greenhouse gas emission credits to make their operations “carbon neutral,” with proceeds going to cleanup projects such as natural gas and cement plants.

Smithers council is calling for carbon offset payments to be retained by each local government, to use for their own building retrofits, fuel-efficient vehicles or other emissions reduction strategies. Environment Minister Terry Lake has indicated he is considering such a change, after complaints that the carbon offset program is costing cash-strapped schools and hospitals millions every year.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is calling for a portion of carbon tax on fossil fuels to be directed to transit funding. That mirrors a proposal considered by Premier Christy Clark, who will be making her first keynote speech at the UBCM convention on Sept. 30.

Resolutions from the Cariboo Regional District and the City of Colwood call for the province to reverse its ban on incandescent light bulbs, citing concern about the disposal of compact fluorescent lights.

Fort St. John council has a resolution calling for five per cent of B.C.’s liquor store revenues to go to local drug and alcohol awareness and prevention programs for youth and adults. The UBCM passed a similar resolution in 2004, calling for a share of provincial liquor revenues to support homeless shelters and detox facilities.

The District of Metchosin is seeking federal and provincial help to control its population of Canada geese, which has ballooned to between 3,000 and 5,000 with considerable losses to crops. The resolution says geese were introduced to southern Vancouver Island in the 1950s “to provide stock for hunting purposes.”

UBCM delegates will also vote on a resolution to allow local governments to offer online voting. The City of Vancouver has a pilot program in the works for advance polls in local elections, which take place across the province this November.

Another hot topic at the convention will be Clark’s promise to create a new municipal auditor-general. Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong says the auditor will do “performance audits,” such as looking at projects cost-shared by the B.C. and federal governments to see which communities used them more efficiently.

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Most Read