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ANTI POVERTY CARBON PRICING PLAN PITCHED TO NOVA SCOTIA'S FINANCE MINISTER

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Andy Blair and Joanne Light with Nova Scotia Finance Minister, Diana Whalen (centre) at her office in Clayton Park, December 5, 2014
Andy Blair and Joanne Light with Nova Scotia Finance Minister, Diana Whalen (centre) at her office in Clayton Park, December 5, 2014
Citizens' Climate Lobby Canada focus on carbon fee and dividend
Citizens' Climate Lobby Canada focus on carbon fee and dividend
Simulated dividend cheque
Simulated dividend cheque

Today, Andy Blair and I met with Diana Whalen, the N.S. Finance Minister to talk about revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend for Nova Scotia. In this plan, government collects a fee on carbon pollution at the source of the fossil fuel entering the energy system but sends ALL the money back to every household in a quarterly cheque. Carbon Fee and Dividend is even better than the B.C. carbon tax (which has been successful) because it takes a bite out of poverty. Because low income households use 5% less energy than the national average, those households would benefit from a quarterly cheque more than from a carbon tax like B.C.'s which reduces taxation levels which does not help those who pay relatively less tax than higher income households.

This plan could be modified as the government, after public consultation, sees fit; for example, protecting small business if necessary. It is also open for creative options for wealthy households to voluntarily donate their rebate to a clean energy tech fund like Bullfrog Power (for example) or even set up a way for their rebate money to be used to buy shares in clean tech startups.

Nova Scotia could make history by being the first region in the world to legislate this strategy. For once, we would be the leader, not the 'lagger behind'. It would be fitting for us to show the world that, in terms of energy policy,  Canadians are not all about subsidizing the fossil fuel energy to the detriment of clean energy technology and carbon pricing foci. It makes sense for us to be starting this here because, next to Prince Edward Island, we are the most vulnerable province to the consequences of climate change (Think extreme weather like "Superstorm Sandy;" coastal erosion from sea level rise and storm surge, for instance.)

We'll be meeting with Community Services department minister, Joanne Bernard, as soon as possible to work for this for the most vulnerable peoples in our province.

If you agree that this is the course for Nova Scotia, please tell the premier, your MLA and the ministers of Community Services, Finance, Energy and Economic Development to support this model. Go to the Citizens Climate Lobby Canada website for more information and please "Like" the local chapter, "Citizens' Climate Lobby Halifax" on Facebook.

 


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