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On July 1, BC's carbon tax rises over 1 cent a litre to 6.67 cents. Do you think the carbon tax is a good idea?

Yes, we have to do something: 6.86%
Yes, but we should do more: 5.15%
No, it's a bad idea: 87.99%

Total Votes: 583

Source: July 3, 2012 Poll

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.pdf icon December 13, 2010 Highlights of the Regional District of Central Okanagan Regular Board Meeting

Nothing mentioned in the highlights, the agenda, or the minutes of the Regional Board meeting about the Carbon Tax

Regional District of Central Okanagan Director Graham James was worried about residents paying for the carbon tax.  Hear what he had to say:


.mp3 file icon - click here for help with audio December 13, 2010 audio of entire RDCO Board meeting .mp3 (138 MB)

Windows Media File Icon December 13, 2010 audio of RDCO Board meeting only about Director Graham James speaking about the carbon tax - .wma (569 KB)

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‘Green’ vehicle option examined in Central Okanagan government
Kelowna Capital News - By Mike Simmons - November 04, 2010

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is examining a purchasing policy for green or hybrid vehicles as they cement their 2011 to 2015 financial plan.

Administration and finance director Marilyn Rilkoff noted the board might wish to look at a policy for purchasing green or hybrid vehicles.

She pointed out the capital cost of green or hybrid vehicles can be about $5,000 more than for regular vehicles, and would have effects on financial reserves for the future.

Director Graeme James noted that hybrid vehicles make sense in some instances, but added some regular vehicles can emit less carbon. He added that at one time, the provincial government was buying hybrid cars when a regular Toyota Yaris had a smaller carbon footprint. “Some of these smaller vehicles do the job, are a lot cheaper and have a smaller carbon footprint.”

Director of corporate services Harold Reay said that the regional district’s policy up to now has been to buy the most economical vehicle that serves their purpose, without any consideration towards carbon footprint. “If we’re going to be looking at changing our fleet and looking at total carbon footprint for any vehicle, its got to be able to do the job as well.”

Director Sharon Shepherd pointed out the City of Kelowna has been involved in a green fleet program, and has a great deal of information on the subject that the regional district could access.

She added that city staff are looking at options for purchasing green vehicles in bulk. Shepherd suggested the regional district and the city work together on bulk purchasing, as it would reduce the cost of the vehicles. Shepherd noted the number of vehicles needed by the regional district would be minimal compared to those required by the city.

Rilkoff said the regional district has no purchaser and staff have been taking on the duties themselves. She added that if the purchasing of the vehicles could be centralized, there are cost savings to be had.

The board passed a motion to bring forward a policy on green vehicles for consideration, consider bulk purchasing through other municipalities, and make an allocation in the budget for green vehicles.

msimmons "at"

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Carbon Fuel Requirements Act coming into effect Jan 1, 2010. The RFS requires that the total volume of gasoline and diesel class fuels (i.e. light fuel oil) sold in the province contain an average of 5% renewable fuel.

Carbon Tax will apply to ethanol at the same rate as gasoline, and to renewable diesel fuel at the same rate as light fuel oil.  Renewable diesel fuel includes both biodiesel and hydrogenated-derived renewable diesel fuel.–-Tax-Change-Summary

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They have to have legislation for refiners and collectors of fuel ... due to french fry oil being collected we imagine.

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Revenue-neutral: The carbon tax will be revenue neutral. Legislation will require a plan to be tabled in the legislature each year, showing how the revenue raised will be returned to taxpayers. All revenue generated by the carbon tax will be returned to individuals and businesses through reductions to other taxes. None of the carbon tax revenue will be used for expenditure programs.

The carbon tax will be phased in to give individuals, businesses, and industry time to adapt, innovate, and reduce the impact of the tax. The carbon tax starts at a rate based on $10 per tonne of associated carbon, or carbon-equivalent, emissions and will rise by $5 a year for the next four years — reaching $30 per tonne by 2012. This works out to 2.41 cents per litre for gasoline, rising gradually to 7.24 cents a litre by 2012. For diesel and home heating oil, it works out to 2.76 cents per litre, rising to 8.27 cents over the same five-year period.

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How to claim your $100 climate action refund cheque

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Check out your Terasen Gas Bill. Should the Feds be allowed to charge GST on the recently introduced B.C. CARBON TAX.  A tax on a tax?

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Vernon Morning Star - Letters - Published: April 25, 2009

RE: Colin Mayes' MP Report.

The heading should have read Gas Tax Siphoned from Vernon.

Currently, the federal government takes .10 cents per litre plus GST tax of $.005 per litre from all purchases of gas by Vernon drivers.

Assuming the average car owner fills their vehicle with 60 litres of gas per week, that would represent $6.30 in gas tax and GST per fill.

With approximately 10,000 cars in the Vernon area, that amounts to $63,000 per week or $3,276,000 per year. Mr. Mayes states his government has ramped up the gas tax rebate to .05 cents per litre or $1,560,000 per year. Will the City of Vernon receive anything close to this amount?

Thus there is a discrepancy of $1,716,000 per year that will not be returned to the Vernon area. At a minimum, the federal government takes (1.5 million cars at $6.30 x 52 = $327.60 per vehicle per year) $4.9 million per year from gas taxes in B.C. What amount of that is returned to B.C.?

I find his statement that "our government is committed to flow your money back to you by supporting your community and provincial priorities" to be totally lacking in credulity and his veracity must be seriously questioned.

H.J. (Chub) Down

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B.C. Liberal members push back on carbon tax
By Tom Fletcher - BC Local News - Published: October 31, 2008

Delegates to the B.C. Liberal Party convention voted strongly Friday to investigate a "rural living tax credit" that would offset the cost of the province's carbon tax for people who face longer travel distances and colder winters.

B.C. Liberal members discussed the rural and northern impact of the tax with a cabinet panel consisting of Tourism Minister Bill Bennett, Finance Minister Colin Hansen, Labour Minister Iain Black, Economic Development Minister Ida Chong, Small Business Minister Kevin Krueger and Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon.

"You have to answer this question before the government's climate change program proceeds any further," one delegate told the panel.

"We can certainly take a look at it," Hansen told party members gathered at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Resolutions for the convention did not include a direct reference to the carbon tax, which is scheduled to increase along with offsetting income tax cuts next July. Asked during a break if party members support the tax, Premier Gordon Campbell said they do.

"I think that people all understand that we have to act on climate change," Campbell said. "No one would come here and say that it hasn't been an issue over the last number of months, it has been. They also support the 44 per cent reduction in small business income tax. They also support the personal income tax reductions."

Krueger reminded delegates that people outside Metro Vancouver pay six cents less in provincial fuel tax. The higher rates support transit services in B.C.'s major urban centre.

The carbon tax on gasoline and other fossil fuels has been hailed by environmentalists and economists, but it has also translated into an apparent surge of support for the NDP opposition after a summer-long "axe the gas tax" protest campaign.

Carbon tax revenues must be returned by law through personal and business income tax cuts. When the program began in July, it started with $100 "climate action dividend" cheques sent to all residents, and quarterly tax credit payments are also being mailed out to lower-income people.

While the carbon tax is revenue neutral to the B.C. government, rural and northern communities have argued it falls disproportionately on them. That sentiment was reflected by B.C. Liberal delegates, many of whom counted themselves as rural residents.

Campbell has ruled out regional exemptions to the fuel tax. But with polls showing support for his party slipping this year, Campbell recently announced rebates for local governments to cover their increased fuel and heating costs.

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Could it be possible we’re being ripped off twice at the pumps?
Kelowna Capital News - Letters - Published: October 07, 2008

To the editor:

Not long ago, a CTV consumer’s report told of gas prices and gas pump inaccuracy. They measured the fuel being delivered by the gas pump at several service stations and found some that were delivering a lot less fuel than what was being registered on the pump.

With the gas companies charging us higher prices per litre for fuel we can only hope the pumps are delivering accurate amounts of fuel.

Otherwise we are getting beat up twice.

Yesterday, I fueled up at a station at Highway 97 and Spall and observed their pumps have not been calibrated since “August 2003,” according to the sticker on each pump. This does not mean the pumps are inaccurate in delivering fuels, but it does make you wonder how accurate can they be after more than five years.

How often do gas pumps get calibrated? Surely every five or six years isn’t often enough.

Maybe an investigative reporter could check the other fuel stations in the Kelowna area, see when their pumps were last calibrated. I think this would provide an excellent story which may also pressure the gas companies to service and calibrate their gas pumps more often.

The only exceptions should be the newer stations which recently opened and should have had pumps calibrated before they opened for business.

David W. Kuhn,
West Kelowna

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Go nuclear
Vernon Morning Star Letters - Published: August 12, 2008

It is heartening to hear that the well-intentioned Alberta government is planning on spending $4 billion for carbon sequestration and public transit. But why is this money being spent on burying CO2 from coal power generation when there is no place to put it? The Leduc oil fields would have to be the major repository for it but where else could it go? It makes more sense to invest instead in alternative power generation for the Alberta Tar Sands project which is the single biggest contributor of greenhouse gasses in this country, to the extent that American environmentalists, Barak Obama included, question the validity of importing "dirty oil" from Canada.

Substituting nuclear reactors for the coal and natural gas thermal generation of electricity and steam for the tar sands would eliminate much of the megatons of greenhouse gasses that would be produced over the (hopefully) long lifespan of the project and would go a long way toward fulfilling our Kyoto commitments. It would also serve to prove the viability of our own reactor technology, which will (again hopefully) be in great demand in the near future.

The old Inco mines in Sudbury could serve as a safe long-term site for such a purpose since it lies in the Canadian Shield which is one of the most geologically stable area of the world. The deep mineshafts there would be ideal for the recoverable storage of hazardous waste, since the rock is comprised of unfractured granite with little or no groundwater.

Instead of producing inferior medical marijuana, the Sudbury mineshafts could be the source of enough revenue to help eliminate our national debt. It would also eliminate the greatest hurdle to the production of clean, safe, non-polluting energy that the world will need to power the electric and hydrogen vehicles of the future. The alternative is melting glaciers, rising seas and famine. Give us nuclear energy before it is too late.

Michael Sturdy

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Carbon tax a bad idea
Vernon Morning Star Opinion - Published: August 08, 2008

Our Conservative government does not support the federal Liberals’ carbon tax approach to addressing the environmental challenges we face today in Canada.

First, we believe the polluters should pay, not the Canadian taxpayer. The proposed Liberal “Green Shift” plan does not put into place legislation that would set mandatory targets for industry and the plan has no incentive for industry to cut emissions. It sounds just great: if we all pay just a little more tax the government can address the environmental issues facing the country.

When was the last time government actually designated taxes for a purpose and actually followed through? Remember, the GST was implemented to pay down the national debt then ended up as general revenue; the fuel tax was to build better roads and instead went into general revenue; increases in Employment Insurance premiums were not lowered when the economy was creating jobs and the unemployment rate was at a record low and the $50 billion surplus was put in general revenue.

This carbon tax proposal is just a new tax, and like all taxes it is not proportionate and will not have a sunset clause.

Second, our government recognizes that rural Canada does not have the option many times to use transit in the way that urban Canada does to cut down on fuel expenses. This means rural Canada is paying the tax but not able to enjoy the benefit offsetting the cost by using transit.

A tax is a tax and once implemented they never go away. Governments can always justify why the money should be redirected to the program of the day. I have to ask the question “Why did the former government not address the environmental issues as proposed by the Kyoto Accord when they enjoyed huge surpluses?”

Our government is lowering taxes so Canadians are able to set their priorities. We introduced 100 measures that reduce or eliminate taxes. Total tax and new child benefit savings for a typical working family amounts to $3,680 a year. Our government also has reduced the national debt by $1,500 for every man, woman and child in Canada.

So, if we are not going to tax Canadians to address the environmental challenges, what is your government going to do?

First, we have our “Turning the Corner” plan that puts goals in place that industry must meet, which will reduce green house gases by 20 per cent by 2020 and 50 per cent by 2050.

We have invested in renewable energy and also funded research and development to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. Our government has spent billions in expansion of transit to make it more convenient for urban Canadians to park their vehicles.

You can be certain if there were ever a carbon tax in Canada, there would be the carbon tax department administering the collection of the carbon tax, the department that would take applications to use the money for projects to cut emissions, the regulatory authority and enforcement department and by the time you finished, half the money collected went into big government.

Let us not go down this path — we have seen the results too often as taxpayers.

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The carbon tax debate
By Tom Fletcher - Vernon Morning Star - July 15, 2008

A polling company asked British Columbians if they wanted “big polluters” to pay the carbon tax, rather than the poor schmucks sweating as they pull up to the gas pumps.

You bet we do. Oil companies especially, but those industrial pollution pigs with their top hats and fat cigars should be on top of the list. They’re getting off easily while we pay, says B.C. NDP leader Carole James, who finds herself in an odd tag-team with Prime Minister Stephen Harper heaping scorn on the notion of carbon taxes.

This is an example of the political guff around carbon taxes, which is why a group of B.C.’s top university professors got together last week to debunk some myths.

It’s true that big industries like cement plants are not paying carbon tax on emissions from their “industrial processes” like the cooking “clinker”. But heating a limestone-clay mixture to 1,500C takes a lot of natural gas, and they pay carbon tax on their fuel like everyone else.

The result, notes SFU professor Mark Jaccard, is that nearly 70 per cent of B.C.’s carbon tax will be paid by industry, while individuals (especially low-income individuals) will get two thirds of the corresponding tax cuts.

Of course “industry” includes trucking and other businesses that will have to pass on fuel costs to consumers if they’re going to survive.

And some industries seem to be getting a sweet deal. Take Spectra Energy, with four natural gas refineries in northeastern B.C., others in Alberta and a head office in Houston, Texas.  Its fuel needs are met with its own raw material, and its industrial carbon emissions are free until North American governments sort out how they’re going to manage a carbon trading market.

Spectra sells gas to homes, businesses and big users like cement plants at prices that have more than doubled in the past year. And as a bonus, the B.C. government just chipped in for more than a fourth of a $12 million pilot project so Spectra can capture and inject waste carbon dioxide into a deep salt-water layer under its Fort Nelson gas plant.

Don’t worry, says UBC political science professor Kathryn Harrison. Industry is paying now and will pay more when it has to buy carbon credits in an auction. Besides, says Jaccard, carbon trading and carbon taxes accomplish the same thing, and both end up costing the end user of gasoline, propane, coal or whatever.

Nancy Olewiler, head of SFU’s public policy program, puts the moral case. Calling from Ontario, she noted there are still few Toyota Priuses around. This reminded me of former finance minister Carole Taylor’s observation that it’s hard to find whole wheat bread there. B.C. has always led Canada on environmental issues, and it’s proving it again by making the leap to carbon prices while maintaining a generally low-tax environment for business.

Olewiler doesn’t buy the currently fashionable idea that speculation is pushing up oil prices when there’s no actual shortage. There are “real and growing scarcities,” she says, and the best long-term strategy is to reduce consumption permanently.

One more thing you should know about the B.C. carbon tax. Most people understand it’s due to double by 2010 and double again by 2012, when it will add more than seven cents to the price of a litre of gasoline.

What’s not often said is that’s just the start. The 2012 carbon tax is based on $30 per tonne of carbon emissions.

According to the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, to make a significant impact on emissions the price of carbon should be $75 a tonne by 2020.

NDP claims ripped

Jaccard is an advisor to Premier Gordon Campbell’s climate action team, but he also worked for the NDP government, which appointed him to head the B.C. Utilities Commission and to do gasoline and electricity price reviews.

He says he’s appalled at the gross errors in media and political criticism of the B.C. carbon tax. The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation slams it without even mentioning the offsetting income tax cuts. And the B.C. NDP releases a climate change plan that promises a Danish-style carbon tax instead.

But the Danish carbon tax is higher than B.C.’s and it’s aimed more at consumers than at industry. Is that what Carole James is promising?

The Scandinavians, of course, have had carbon taxes since the 1990s, when countries like Canada just talked and signed empty international agreements.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press newspapers. tfletcher "at"

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Waiting on a $100 promise
By Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star - July 10, 2008

The B.C. government promised everyone $100.

But after eagerly checking their mailboxes, some are still waiting to cash in on that promise.

Margaret McLennan, 79, is one such resident, who, after picking up her husband’s $100 climate action dividend, was left wondering what happened to hers.

Apparently, her name is just one of several that has fallen between the cracks.

“There have been a lot of calls from all over the province from people who haven’t gotten their cheques,” said Alesha Hayes, regional communications officer for the government caucus of B.C. “Everybody wants their $100.”

While some of the cheques are still being sent out, many citizens, like Vernon’s McLennan, will have to do a little extra work to get their $100.

For most, that will involve downloading an application from$100, or calling 1-866-426-1526.

The reason some will have to work a little harder than the majority for their money is due to various reasons, from address changes to income tax filing.

In McLennan’s case, the situation is beyond annoying.

“I was so mad by the time she finished telling me what I had to do, I just hung up,” said the frustrated senior.

“It doesn’t make any sense with something that everyone was supposed to get.”

It leaves her wondering how the system might benefit the government’s pocket in the end.

“To me it’s a real scam. How many people are going to bother?” said McLennan, of those who will have to do more than open their mailbox for their cheque.

Hayes understands some people might not want to take the time to do the paperwork.

But she thinks the money will make it worthwhile.

“One hundred dollars is worth that much effort. It’s like Christmas in July.”

She also hopes those who have to put in that much effort will understand that when trying to reach four million people, there’s bound to be a few mistakes.

“It happens, that there’s people who fall through the cracks,” said Hayes.

“But considering the scale of it, it’s going pretty well.”

When they do receive their cheques, Hayes hopes residents will spend with the environment in mind.

“It would be interesting to know how people are spending their cheques. Even if it gets them thinking about things like, ‘oh, I should properly inflate my tires.’”

The climate action dividends were issued following the carbon tax, which was ushered in July 1.

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Carbon Tax Rates

July 1, 2008 2.41 cents per litre up to 7.23 by July 1, 2012

Gasoline July 1, 2008 2.34 cents per litre
Gasoline July 1, 2009 3.51 cents per litre
Gasoline July 1, 2010 4.68 cents per litre
Gasoline July 1, 2011 5.85 cents per litre
Gasoline July 1, 2012 7.02 cents per litre

Diesel and heating oil
July 1, 2008 2.76 cents per litre up to 8.28 by July 1, 2012

July 1, 2008 1.53 cents per litre up to 4.59 by July 1, 2012

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Thats just the car alarm, it always goes off when we're being robbed.
This is a joke we found in the Vernon Morning Star page A8 on May 4, 2008.  We thought it was pretty funny!

That's just the car alarm ... it always goes off when we're being robbed. lol

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Carbon tax use puzzles politicians
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - April 16, 2008

Vernon politicians are demanding answers over B.C.’s new carbon tax.

Council voted Monday to fire off a letter to the provincial government asking for information on how the carbon tax will be used and the potential impact on municipal finances.

“This is a complex issue and the government has not been clear on what it intends to do with the carbon tax,” said Coun. Buffy Baumbrough.

The issue arose after council received a letter from the District of Coldstream.

In February, Coldstream requested that the provincial government use funds from the carbon tax for transit projects.

That concept gained some support within Vernon council chambers Monday.

“We have some major transit issues, especially trying to get transit to UBC Okanagan,” said Coun. Pat Cochrane.

That was also the view of Coun. Patrick Nicol.

“We need to up the ante when it comes to transit,” he said.

However, a motion from Cochrane and Nicol to endorse Coldstream’s efforts failed.

“We don’t know the effects of the carbon tax on the city,” said Coun. Barry Beardsell of why he voted against the motion.

“Why should we jump in on something we don’t fully understand?”

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Spend your carbon tax refund at the pump!
Spend your carbon tax refund at the pump!

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I didn't realize this but these coupons shown below are going to be good for one litre of gas at most retailers. I have seen them around lots but never knew what they were for.....You probably have one lying around somewhere now. Make sure to use it before it expires!!

Red down arrow.

$5.00 gas coupon for 1 litre of gas

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Government needs to reduce carbon instead of pay cheques
article by March 13, 2008

The government says the carbon tax will be revenue-neutral. When you think about it, that statement is hogwash!  When the price of fuel goes up, so does the cost of trucking and manufacturing. feel the government is going to earn more tax money off the increase we face with higher manufacturing and trucking costs, which helps offset the reduction in G.S.T. the government gave us from 7% down to 5% awhile back.

July 1, 2006 GST reduced from 7% to 6%

Jan. 1, 2008 GST reduced from 6% to 5% feel the government wants us to believe they are giving us tax breaks by way of reducing the G.S.T., but are really taking extra earnings from the carbon tax to pay for the G.S.T. tax cut?  Does the government not call extra tax revenue on manufacturing and trucking revenue?  How then can the carbon tax be called revenue-neutral?

We wonder if the government is trying to get more people to do their income taxes using the $100.00 and more in tax rebates?  Or are they trying to be more creative so that more people understand less?

Is the government just trying to make themselves look good for the next election? Please remember this article when you go to vote next time.

Automobile insurance could be assigned to the person driving instead of to the vehicle, or one insurance policy could be assigned to more than one vehicle. This could allow one person to drive two or more different vehicles without having to transfer insurance. ICBC sells "garage policies". A garage policy contains "D" dealers plates, "TR" transporter plates, and or "R" plates meaning repair. "TR" plates, "D" plates and "R" plates can transfer from a little car to a big truck and vice versa without having to run to the insurance office. The automobile dealers garage policy insures all the vehicles on the dealers lot, as well as the "D" plate their customers use to test drive vehicles.  Why can't regular people have this option ... or does ICBC just make it too expensive?

If ICBC changed their ways we could cut down on actual carbon instead of our pay cheques.

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Poor guy with wife and two cars to feed

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Then there's the new so-called carbon tax introduced by the suddenly green Gordon Campbell. It's green alright, if you are a corporation getting a major tax cut paid for by working stiffs at the pumps.  Between large corporations, small business and banks and financial institutions, the total tax cut tab is a whopping $890 million when fully implemented, half the $1.8 billion the gas tax will raise.

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Your load has been approved ... you may fill up!

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Price we pay for gas truly is a rip-off
April 09, 2008 - Kelowna Capital News

To the editor:

What do you know about the gas you put in your car?

When you’re filling up, don’t squeeze the nozzle to run fast. Pumping on low speed minimizes the vapors that are created while you are pumping. Some of the vapor that goes into your tank is being sucked up and goes back into the storage tank, so you are getting less worth, for your money.

Fill up when your tank is half empty. The more gas you have in your tank, the less air is occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine.

If a tanker truck is pumping into storage tanks where you normally deal, don’t fill up. The gas being stirred up could have dirt that normally settles on the bottom of the storage tank, and it could end up in your tank.

Ford and General Motors cars are designed not to burn methanol. It can corrode parts in your fuel system. These vehicles were not designed to burn additives with metallic compounds including manganese-based compounds (MMT). Using gas with MMT or methanol voids the warranty on these vehicles. (check your owners manual—other makes of vehicles may include the same warning).

In California an imperial gallon would cost $3.67. In Canada that same gallon of gas cost you $5.47. So we are paying $1.80 more per gallon than they are, and most of this gas came from northern B.C. in the first place.

We pay by the litre, so which is cheaper—$1.20 per litre or $5.47 per gallon? In reality it works out to the same price.

Is this not just another gimmick in an attempt to fool the public into thinking this is such a great deal? Is it not reasonable to believe Canadian consumers are being taken in by our own lousy governmental system?

The cost of all petroleum products sold in Canada should be regulated by the federal government. The Mexican government sets the price of gas, and the price is the same everywhere in Mexico.

Some places in Canada, the service stations are run like a cartel. The price changes are set at the same price at every location. When the price per barrel goes up, the price at the pump goes up immediately, but when the price goes down, it takes forever before there is a price change.

What ever happened to the independent bargaining process?

Contact your local, provincial and federal politicians and remind them we have a serious problem that requires their immediate attention.

E.R. Coster,

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Vernon Morning Star Letters - April 4, 2008

On the B.C. budget Web site it states:

An estimated $1.8 billion in personal and business tax reductions over three years to return revenue generated by the carbon tax;

If we are getting the carbon tax back in income tax exemptions, why charge us for it in the first place.... just to make more paperwork?

Joyce Schnurr

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Price of fuel gauge
$45.00 bucks is cheap now!

wallet vs. fuel guage

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Burning off forests just adds carbon to the air
Kelowna Capital News Letters - April 04, 2008

To the editor:

I am amazed at the large amount of interest in climate change that has developed recently. Even if global warming is not a reality, if the sudden interest will reduce some of our pollution it will have been well worth it.

Along this theme I would like to suggest that the B.C. government take a close look at how we manage our natural resources and more specifically of our forests with-in and with-out our parklands and our working forests. It seems counter productive to reducing greenhouse gases to advocate that we need to re-introduce fire back into the ecosystem as many preservationists suggest we do.

Can society afford to deliberately allow our forests to burn and pump billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, while at the same time, spend billions of dollars to try to reduce carbon dioxide from other sources?

Would it not make more sense to work to prevent many of our fires and to develop a plan that stores the carbon and releases oxygen at the same time.

This is not new technology, it has been around for thousands of years. It is an established fact that young forests store enormous volumes of carbon, and release oxygen back into the atmosphere, but an over mature forest gives off more carbon due to decay, than it stores. The best filter for the environment is a healthy young forest.

George Delisle,

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Overpass for Hwy 97
Kelowna Capital News Letters - April 02, 2008

To the editor:

I wonder what the city of Kelowna’s carbon foot print is, caused by traffic crawling on Bernard and Highway 97.

There are way too many traffic lights and intersections on Harvey through the beautiful city of Kelowna. Just think of all the traffic stopping, then idling, waiting for a light to change, just to do it all over again at the next intersection.

Then there’s all the wear on brake pads it takes to stop the traffic, that can’t be good of the environment either.

All that stopping and starting just to let a few more join in or to cross the highway.

North and south of Harvey should be accessed only by on or off ramps with overpasses at Water, Gordon, Spall, Dilworth, Highway 33, Leathead, McCurdy, Sexsmith and Airport Way.

Please take out the traffic intersections and lights at Ellis, Abbott, Burtch, Ritcher and Edwards.

Many times I’ve seen traffic of 40 to 50 vehicles stop just to let one or two cross.

This would help keep traffic flowing.


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Statistics Canada - Dependence on cars in urban neighbourhoods
by Martin Turcotte Release date: January 22, 2008

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Gov’t will reap the profits
From Kelowna Capital News February 24, 2008

To the editor:

On the one hand our government is bribing us—with our own money of course—by offering each British Columbian a one time only $100 payment to suck it up and shut up about the increase in gas prices. On the other hand, they claim that the new tax will be “revenue neutral.”

Sounds great up front but there is a problem. The new tax means higher gas prices which will eventually translate into higher prices for the consumer throughout almost every facet of our economy. Higher prices means the government will collect more revenue through other taxes on those higher prices. And guess who has to pay those higher prices? The same bloke who got the original paltry $100 bribe. So the government ends up not being out any money, in fact, they will increase their revenues as a result of the fallout from the new carbon tax and the consumer gets the shaft as usual from an increased tax burden.

I haven’t heard it said how the increased gas tax revenues are going to directly provide a benefit to our environment, especially when most British Columbians will use the extra cash to go down to their local gas station and “fill ‘er up” or head down to the local “jar” store to pick up a couple of 2-4s for the weekend party. This is hardly an incentive for citizens to become more responsible particularly in light of the fact that the vast majority of British Columbians need their vehicles for business or for family necessities regardless of what the price of gas is. If need be, they will cut expenses elsewhere in their business or family budgets to ensure that they have enough gas in the tank.

The reality is that gas prices will continue to move skyward, the big oil companies will continue to make record profits, and the government will continue to get their big piece of the pie unless some real action as taken.

Government needs to show vision and leadership.

Grant Baudais,

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Northern BCers get screwed by application of carbon tax
February 29, 2008 Kelowna Capital News

British Columbia has a new sin tax. Fuel has joined the ranks of cigarettes and alcohol as commodities that we should be ashamed of using and, because of that, government will tax us for it.

The problem with sin taxes is that they really don’t work.

We have fewer smokers around today because there has been a concerted effort to make is socially unacceptable.

Actions such as banning smoking in public places and public education campaigns have had more of an impact on the number of smokers in our midst than the ever-increasing taxes on a pack of smokes.

Problem drinking and alcoholism still seems to be a problem, even while we’ve had rather high and punitive taxes on alcohol for some time.

So, will a punitive tax on fuel consumption actually reduce the amount of fuel we consume? Not likely.

Particularly since this tax is supposed to be “revenue neutral.”

The plan is that whatever is raised through the carbon tax will be refunded to British Columbians through income tax cuts.

That simply doesn’t make sense.

The whole idea behind a punitive tax is for it to be punitive. If it is truly to be revenue neutral to British Columbians, there is no point instituting it.

It’s kind of like taking a child’s allowance away but then buying them everything they ask for anyway.

However, in reality, the carbon tax won’t be revenue neutral for British Columbians. We are going to be taxed on consumption, but the money refunded will be based on income.

Victoria is mixing apples and oranges so there is no way the money coming back will be equitable.

As with all across-the-board tax cuts, the benefits are greater for those at the higher end of the pay scale.

The lunacy of the carbon tax is that someone making $40,000 per year can use less fuel than someone making $100,000 per year, but receive less of the “payback.”

For those of us in northern B.C., there is a double-whammy. Government has very cleverly focused debate on how much more we will be paying at the pump.

However, the carbon tax will apply to all fossil fuels, which means natural gas, heating oil, propane etc.

It’s one thing to apply a sin tax to cigarettes, alcohol and fuel where the consumer has a choice of whether to pay (albeit the choice with fuel for your car is considerably more difficult), but the consumer has no choice when it comes to heating their home.

Yes, we can turn down the thermostat at night, but choosing an alternative is virtually non-existent. Should we, perhaps, be reverting to more woodstoves in airsheds that are already compromised?

The rub for the North is that, by virtue of where we live, we will consume more fuel to heat our homes and our businesses than those in the Lower Mainland.

It’s the second part of the double-whammy. We will pay more carbon tax because we live in the North and, since the payback is linked to income, we will get the short end of the stick.

A northern B.C. resident with an income of $100,000 will get the same carbon tax refund as a person living in the Lower Mainland making $100,000 but will pay more carbon tax. The North gets a potato stuck in the tailpipe again.

The carbon tax will, essentially, result in the movement of cash from northern B.C. taxpayers to Lower Mainland B.C. taxpayers and from lower income British Columbians to higher income British Columbians.

It will do nothing to reduce amount of fossil fuel we consume.

Bill Phillips is the editor of the Prince George Free Press, a sister newspaper of the Capital News.

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Inventory of Air Quality Bylaws in British Columbia

Open-Burning, and

This report focuses on bylaws put in place by regional districts and incorporated municipality bylaws relate to air quality. The purpose of this review was to take inventory of what exists for future policy work and to respond to public inquiries. The bylaws that were focussed on concerned vehicle idling, open burning, and wood burning appliances.

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Vernon Blog Spot on Westside Road being used as Vernon's bypass.

The last time we looked the poll suggested Westside Road as the corridor.


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Carbon tax fuels mixed reaction
By Wolf Depner - Penticton Western News - February 22, 2008

Local MLA Rick Thorpe said the carbon tax announced this week will help British Columbians make greener choices that will ultimately benefit the economy and environment.

But he also conceded that British Columbians will have to adjust to the new measures.

“There is no question that (they) will go through transition,” said Thorpe, as he discussed the budget with regional media.

Central to the provincial budget is a new carbon tax that will collect $1.8 billion over the next three years on fossil fuels.

“Anybody using fossil fuel, there is going to be carbon tax on it,” said Thorpe, responding to New Democratic criticisms that the tax exempts major industries from the carbon tax, at least until a carbon trading system comes into place.

Cuts in personal and corporate taxes will offset the tax scheduled to come into effect July 1.

Thorpe said the tax — said to escalate from $10 per tonne of carbon emissions to $30 in 2012 — will encourage British Columbians to make more environmentally friendly choices, like using alternative energy, switching to fuel-efficient vehicles and taking public transit.

This led to questions about whether the carbon tax would be effective in the Okanagan where many residents depend on vehicles and lack access to public transit. Thorpe also faced questions about whether the carbon tax would hurt citizens with low incomes.

Citizens will “on balance” respond to the incentives offered through the budget, Thorpe said, noting that the province has invested more resources into public transit. Lower income earners will also receive a climate action tax credit of $100 per adult and $30 for each child, he said.

All British Columbians will also a receive a one-time only climate action dividend.

Not everybody will change their actions, Thorpe conceded. But most people are worried about the environment and want to make the necessary changes.

He also defended the budget against suggestions that the carbon tax would hurt manufacturers and key sectors of the economy, such as forestry hurting from low American demand for B.C. exports and the high Canadian dollar.

Thorpe pointed to several measures that promise to attract more business to British Columbia such as the phase out of the existing capital tax on financial institutions and tax cuts for small and large businesses. He also repeated his government’s earlier promise to help the forestry sector.

“Without a strong economy, in every region of B.C., we couldn’t look after health care, education and everything else,” he said.

Reaction to the budget from the business community — a key constituency of the B.C. Liberals — has included some applause, but also criticism.

John Winter, president of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, said the tax cuts will help B.C. compete with Alberta. But the carbon tax will also burden some industries that do not have many options for reducing fuel use, such as energy.

The provincial government has also heard complaints from the transport industry.

Seth Klein, who heads the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an organization often critical of the government, generally praised the carbon tax.

“It’s a good start down the climate change path,” said Klein, qualifying his support by saying that the tax could become regressive in coming years.

But Klein added that the “green focus” of the budget has come at the expense of the “social side” such as housing, poverty and education.

“Social services really got the short end of the stick here,” said Klein, a concern echoed by health care unions and other groups, who say spending increases announced in the budget do not go far enough to meet the demands of an aging population.

Local MLA Rick Thorpe reviews the health, climate action and economic initiatives in the 2008 provincial budget.

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Expensive fuel - Video
CHBC News Video - Web posted on Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Okanagan motorists are in for sticker shock after another jump in gas prices.

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Inside the carbon tax revolution
The twinning Port Mann will be tolled, and there is even talk of a London-style "congestion charge" for the privilege of driving into downtown Vancouver.
Vernon Morning Star article from Feb 29, 2008 page B13
Also in Kelowna Capital News Feb 27, 2008
click article for larger print or click link above

Another new consumption tax is about to hit: B.C.'s newest toll bridge is nearing completion.  The twinning Port Mann will be tolled, and there is even talk of a London-style "congestion charge" for the privilege of driving into downtown Vancouver.

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Carbon tax dismissed as just a money grab
Kelowna Capital News - March 09, 2008

To the editor:

Recently British Columbia’s provincial government announced a new carbon tax to try and improve our environment.

Now I’m not opposed to cleaning our act up and living more eco-friendly, but to herald this move as being the right way is simply absurd.

I think we should see this move for what it really is, just another useless tax on the consumer.

It is mind-boggling as to why consumers are to foot the bill when oil companies are raking in record billion-dollar profits. Not to mention the auto companies, forever dragging their feet on initiating new technology. They’ve released hybrids or the odd electric car, but none of those moves even resemble a step forward in environmental technology.

And why? So they too can reap the rewards of this ridiculous cycle of greed.

Do these politicians read the newspapers and see the profit margins these oil companies make?

Make these industries foot the bill and make it so it is not returnable to the consumer. Period. End of discussion. And give us a break.

Trevor DeBlock,

Blue Divider Line

The Carbon Tax Experience: A cautionary tale
From the Abbotsford News - March 13, 2008

Editor, The News:

The Danish experience with carbon taxes is instructive for British Columbians soon to be walloped by carbon taxes of our own.

The B.C. government is expecting to extract $1.8 billion in carbon taxes by 2010, but then - after shuffling through a few bureaucrats hands -- miraculously reappear in the form of lower personal and business taxes, coupled with rebates.

“Revenue neutral” claims aside, the Danish experience suggests much higher fuel costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions coming in the wake of manufacturing job losses.

Denmark first imposed carbon taxes on non-business energy consumption in 1991. Those taxes were marketed as “revenue-neutral.” Between 1994 and 1998, carbon taxes added 30 per cent to government revenues and were initially used to cut corporate income taxes and pay for wind turbine subsidies.

In 1996, Denmark went on to hit industrial producers with a $15 per tonne carbon tax, initially neutralized by cuts in payroll taxes.

What happened? By 1998, manufacturers started shutting their doors due to high energy prices, and overall Danish carbon tax revenues started to fall along with manufacturing jobs. At the same time, the cost of government programs rose significantly. The government’s solution incredibly was to - wait for it - subsidize electricity to select manufacturers and raise income taxes by lowering the income threshold on the country’s top marginal rate.

By 2001, with economic growth hovering at one- seventh-of-one-percent, Danes making over CAD $50,000 paid 59 per cent of their income in taxes, and had to cope with record electricity prices. The entire debacle led to a change of government that year, with the incoming government promising a tax freeze, followed by a tax reduction - including those taxes on energy.

Did all this hardship reduce Denmark’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions? Yes. Overall, greenhouse gas emissions fell by a whopping 10 per cent between 1990 and 2005. But the country’s manufacturing employment dropped by 25 per cent!

The carbon tax did a great job of hurting the economy and making people poorer. It didn’t do as great a job reducing GHG emissions.

Think about this. Gordon Campbell’s goal is to reduce the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40-million tonnes by 2020. Most of British Columbia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. So putting a tax on fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel makes sense.

Yet, the current carbon tax policy is expected to reduce GHG’s by only 3-million tonnes - or 7 per cent of the total -- by 2020. Where’s the other 93 per cent coming from? Moreover, if the price of reducing 3-million tonnes is $1.8-billion, what will the additional cost to families be to reduce 37-million tonnes more?

Nothing -- according to the government -- because it’s all “revenue neutral.”

Let’s examine that. The most recent budget reduced the bottom two income tax rates such that a two-income family of four earning $90,000 can expect to save $85 in 2008. Yet that same family can expect to pay an additional $100 in gasoline tax and another $35 for home heating. Then there’s an increase in the cost of goods and services transported by almost any mode coupled with BC Hydro rate increases and a host of lost economic opportunities.

Oh sure, it may be “revenue neutral” for some - but certainly not all. If you’re a two-income family on the go with active kids, get ready to pay more, lots more!

The lessons of Denmark (and fuel poverty strategies in the United Kingdom written about previously by this author) are a harbinger of what’s to come.

Gordon Campbell - cheered on by radical environmentalists and business groups alike -- has no mandate to impose such a policy.

Alarmist propaganda notwithstanding the earth is not melting, but our standards of living soon will -- at least in Copenhagen they’re learning from their mistakes. Maybe we could too.

Maureen Bader
Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation

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Get Involved, Demand a Bypass Now!

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Price of gas rose in Vernon on March 28, 2008 to $126.9 cents a litre.

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In January 2008, 68.2% of Canada's total production of crude oil and equivalent hydrocarbons went to the export market.

Blue Divider Line feels this is a money grab by the government who has found a creative way to take more money by way of carbon tax which only creates more paperwork.

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