Don't axe the carbon tax, B.C.: David Suzuki
Canada's most recognizable environmentalist let loose a volley of criticism against the NDP, saying that if the party wants his support, it will have to rewrite its platform.
David Suzuki told the Globe and Mail newspaper that the NDP stance on axing the province's unique carbon tax would poison other jurisdictions against making the move.
"If [Liberal Leader Gordon Campbell] goes down because of the axe the tax, the repercussions are that the carbon tax will be toxic for future politicians," he said.
"No politician will raise it. That's why environmentalists are so upset," he said.
Suzuki is the latest environmentalist to blast the NDP as the campaign in the province begins -- an unusual turn for politics here, because environmentalists are traditional NDP supporters.
Reached at a campaign event on Friday night, James said that she would take the criticism in stride.
"I think that David Suzuki's entitled to his opinion -- that's part of the great democracy and part of the province we live in," she said.
James said she was not rattled by the continuous press around the issue, and said she and the environmentalists would have to "agree to disagree."
The Liberal government introduced the first North American carbon tax last year. It taxes almost all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel and home-heating fuel. The tax rate will rise over the next four years.
The NDP says that the tax should be replaced by a cap-and-trade system, which would cap the amount of pollutants companies can emit before they must purchase credits from those who pollute less.
On Thursday, an independent federal advisory panel, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, suggested that Ottawa and the provinces should adopt the cap-and-trade system, saying it is the most efficient and least costly means of controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward