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DAWSON CREEK, B.C – The Peace River Regional District is set to discuss a letter asking for a carbon tax exemption for northern residents.

PRRD Chair Brad Sperling is recommending the board approve a letter to the B.C. government requesting that all residents in the north be exempted from British Columbia’s Carbon Tax. A copy of the letter will also be sent to South Peace MLA Mike Bernier and North Peace MLA Dan Davies.

Arthur Hadland penned the letter on March 2nd, claiming the tax hasn’t reduced consumption of carbon fuels or improved the environment. He doesn’t believe northern residents should pay the tax in order to heat their homes.

“My most recent fuel bill for heating my home shows that 19 per cent of that bill is attributed to the Carbon Tax,” wrote Hadland to the PRRD. “Today, it is incumbent on our local government and MLAs to protect the rural citizens from a grossly unfair and unnecessary Carbon Tax.”

In 2008, the first broad-based carbon tax was implemented in B.C, taxing the purchase and use of fossil fuels. The PRRD was granted an exemption for B.C. Agriculture in 2009, which was supported by the Union Of B.C. Municipalities.

The provincial carbon tax rate rose from $35 to $40 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in 2019, with another increase planned for March 2020 that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tax rate is set to increase to $45 per tCO2e on April 1st. Another $5 increase is scheduled for April 2022.

“The current change aims to give businesses and families more time to recover from COVID-19 while still meeting the federal carbon pricing backstop rate of $50 per tCO2e by 2022,” says the PRRD in a March 25th report.

The PRRD board is set to discuss the letter Thursday.

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