One on one with Trustee Bruce Johnson on school closures in district 67
Is Carbon tax or Carbon Fraud responsible for the closing of schools? You decide!
Summary of Research
Note : In 2010, the B.C. government starting making schools, hospitals and universities reduce their net carbon emissions to zero, and as a result the public institutions were forced to pay to have outside projects reduce carbon emissions in their stead. These reductions are often called carbon credits or offsets.
Note : British Columbia had paid out $53.4 million to buy these carbon offsets from major forest companies such as Canfor and Interfor, energy companies such as ARC Resources, and increasingly from a First Nation consortium whose traditional territory encompass the Great Bear Rainforest on B.C.’s central coast, according to data assembled by The Vancouver Sun.
Note : “In 2014 alone, the province purchased $10.2 million in carbon offsets from the Great Bear initiative.”
Note : Under the program, the province put a $25 a tonne price on the carbon emissions of the schools, hospitals and universities to provide an incentive for them to reduce emissions. (The carbon offsets from industry have been purchased at an average price of less than $12 a tonne).
Note : schools, hospital and universities have reduced emissions by 7.4 per cent or just under 63,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, according to government data.
Note : And there are some public sector emissions under B.C.’s rules that have been deemed exempt from having to be offset — such as carbon emissions from school buses and the B.C. Transit fleet. Emissions from those exempt categories have increased about 20,000 tonnes between 2010 and 2014.
Note : The B.C. Liberal government has shown no intent to dismantle its carbon offset system, and B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said there are no plans to make any changes.
Note : “I would hold this up as a really good example of how to take incentives and turn them into benefits that are pretty direct,” Polak said in an interview.
Note : She is referring to the $14.5 million a year the province provides to schools, hospitals and universities to help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Note : In essence, the B.C. government is giving back money they collected from the $25 a tonne of emissions, but it has to be directed to emission-reduction projects.
Note : NDP environment critic George Heyman says the province’s carbon trading scheme is a shell game.
Note : “The real question here is why are they taking additional money from schools and hospitals instead of letting them upgrade and retrofit their buildings for energy conservation directly,” he said.
Note : Asked why the province does not simply let the public institutions keep the money, which they could plow into projects to reduce carbon emissions, particularly given hospitals and colleges are already paying a $30 a tonne carbon tax as well, Polak said the $25 a tonne additional charge provides a needed incentive to change behaviour.
Note : Asked why this additional $25 charge was then not applied to the private sector as well, where there are much larger gains to be had in emission reductions, Polak said that question may be answered in the province’s updated climate change plan expected to be released this year.
Note : After shutting down the Pacific Carbon Trust in 2013, and moving its operations into the secretariat, the B.C. Liberal government said it would save $5.6 million a year and use only five government workers.
Note : The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been highly critical of the Pacific Carbon Trust, and continues to have concerns of the program now being run within government.
Note : B.C. spokesman Jordan Bateman called the carbon system a farce, saying the program is not about reducing emissions but a public relations exercise so the government can call itself carbon neutral.
Note : He noted that replacing boilers sounded like routine maintenance.
Note : More fundamentally, he said most people would not consider schools and hospitals priorities for reducing carbon emissions, said Bateman. “The whole program seems really ridiculous.”
AN AUDIT OF CARBON NEUTRAL GOVERNMENT (Must Read)
Public Accounts (Ministry of Finance BC)
Things that still make you go “Hmmm” (Must Read)
Pacific Carbon Trust Finacials (Lots of information 2008/14)
Pacific Carbon Trust Folded Into B.C. Government In Cost-Cutting Move (Article)
BC Conservatives Promise Pacific Carbon Trust Shutdown (Article)
Auditor General Carbon Neutral Report Scalds BC Government (Article)
B.C. Taxpayers Pay Millions in Carbon Corporate Welfare–Again (Article)
Why Fear B.C.’s Clean Energy Policy? (Article)
Meaning of “Secretariat” (Related to the change to Pacific Carbon Trust)
Carbon Neutral Local Government (Review Material)
The following links are for Deloitte, this firm is presently working with the provincial government carbon tax dept! (Research Connection)
Deloitte works with the Sinularity University! (Research Connection)
Sinularity University (Research Connection)