FORSETH – Who will pay for greenhouse carbon tax exemption? We will

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

A RISE IN THE CARBON TAX was no April Fools joke for the people of BC.

Carbon taxes imposed by the Provincial and Federal governments will go from a current rate of $50 per tonne … to $65 per tonne … a THIRTY percent increase.

According to a Global News story, from yesterday (Saturday) forward over the next 365 days we’ll be paying an extra 3 cents per litre of gas … 17 cents for diesel … and heating our home with natural gas will cost an extra 12 cents per cubic metre.

Now maybe we can drive less, so as to keep the increased cost of the carbon tax on fuel to a minimal amount – MAYBE – but what about those of us in the Interior and Northern BC that would appreciate the heat of our natural gas furnaces?

From the start, I have NEVER understood why a necessity like home heating fuel gets hit with the carbon tax. Heating our home isn’t some frivolous thing … it’s not a luxury … it’s a NECESSITY!

Of course, the Carbon Tax is just one small part of the costs associated with heating our homes with natural gas. Take my most recent bill for example, which had a total cost of $166.38.

Of that amount, only $49 was the actual cost of the gas.  Then there were the following multiple fees and taxes:

Basic Charge to be connected to the Fortis BC system … $13.49

Delivery Fee … which came in at a whopping $56.36

Storage and Transport of the natural gas … $10.77

  • TOTAL of $80.62

Municipal operating fee of $4.01

BC Clean Energy levy … $0.53

GST … $7.90

  • TOTAL of $12.44

As well as the aforementioned Carbon Tax which comes in at $24.31.

So, looking at my Fortis bill … just 30% is for the actual cost of the gas — the rest is all of those taxes … fees … levies … and the absurd category of connection costs, delivery, and storage / transport.

But, the provincial government of NDP Premier David Eby isn’t finished dipping into our pockets. To add insult to injury, the Agriculture Ministry sent out a media release on Friday (March 31st) touting a carbon tax exemption for greenhouse growers:

New carbon tax exemption improves greenhouse grower cash flow

The greenhouse carbon tax exemption will provide eligible greenhouse operations with an 80% exemption to carbon tax, which will be implemented on April 1, 2023, by the Ministry of Finance

So, while WE as residents of BC are FORCED to pay the carbon tax on a necessity — home heating fuel … the Greenhouse industry gets an EIGHTY PERCENT EXEMPTION.

And who will end up paying for that carbon tax exemption for the Greenhouse industry giveaway?  We will!

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t sit well with me … what about you?

Alan Forseth is a Kamloops resident. For 40 years he has been active, in a number of capacities, in local, provincial and federal politics, including running as a candidate for the BC Reform Party in the 1996 provincial election. He more recently was involved in the BC Liberal leadership campaign.

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on FORSETH – Who will pay for greenhouse carbon tax exemption? We will

  1. Thank you for your comments David …just a couple things …

    First, I knew the tax exemption for greenhouse growers replaced an existing one, and I did provide a link to the government media release that indicated that. My comment still stands, if growers get an exemption for the cost of carbon tax, on natural gas for heating, why the hell are the people of BC paying it to heat are homes?

    Second … 6 or 7 years ago I replaced a mid-efficiency furnace with a highest rated high-efficiency one — I’m certainly not going to do that again at this point, and not likely in the foreseeable future.

    • Good, so your adding a heat pump outside, to a new high efficiency furnace inside, will mean even less gas use than the average BC’r, so you’re halfway towards being someone who is not paying the carbon tax at all to heat your house. I would highly recommend it.

      You need a high efficiency furnace to run a heat pump in the first place.

      Let me know if you want to learn about the tech, I will share links.

      And yes, you did include the link, and I dont argue the point regarding greenhouses being exempt and homeowners are not … but you still sold it in the column in a way that really does sound as if it is a NEW tax exemption that is landing on the shoulders of BC tax payers, and thats just not accurate.

      “isn’t finished dipping into our pockets” strongly suggests a new cost … yet its a hand thats been in that pocket already for three years now.

      Perhaps mentioning directly what it was replacing, would have satisfied this easy-to-misunderstand detail and gone a long way towards up front clarity.

      btw … on Mels forum here, if you hit the ‘reply’ word right beside the name header of the person you want to reply to, then it stacks conversations properly, for example my comment here underneath your response. You dont need to create a new thread for every response. Its a little thing.

  2. On one angle … forecasted Fortis costs is one reason why we installed a heat pump 5 years ago when people were asking “why are you doing that?” … and now its all the rage.

    We saw the carbon tax coming for our gas bill, and accurately predicted that natural gas prices would increase at a faster rate than hydro. Now, not only have we actually saved $ with this switch, we also sidestepped the impact of these incremental carbon tax increases.

    If you would like to engage with the negatives of the heat pump option, I would be happy to debate what you know about that, with actual statistical fact based on real world usage.

    At the end of the day … NO … heating our homes is NOT a selfish convenience, but when you have always had solutions in front of you, yet prefer wait to only yell foul AFTER the well known and expected gas tax increase costs comes … your indignation sounds more like a need to clamor onto ANY tax increase with rhetorical anti-tax / sheep herding gusto.

    It DOES actually smack of reactionary ‘selfish convenience’ when such an easy answer has always been in front of you for years now … but you didnt bother doing it … yet now harp on about inflicted injury.

    You could have done something about your gas bill … and still can.

    OH … and btw … this new carbon tax exemption actually replaces a pre-existing Greenhouse Carbon Tax Relief Grant program that has been in place since 2020 … and that grant program amounted to the same 80% of entitled agricultural businesses carbon tax paid, which was rebated back to greenhouse growers … so in essence no … tax payers are not suffering some new increased burden due to a tax break to food growers.

    If you wander into the weeds of it, they actually have slightly tightened the eligibility criteria, so in actuality … the new exemption will be a bit cheaper on tax payers than the grant program. This new exemption is just a natural evolution for it to transition from a grant program to an exemption program.

    So … where are we … you chose to buy more natural gas, when you didnt have to … and have mis-characterized the exemption … but I will agree that all the add-on fees on our Fortis bill is just gouging, I would think that ‘storage and transport’ IS what ‘delivery’ actually is.

    That’s like my McDonalds receipt detailing the storage of the hamburger patty costs, as well as the actual cost of the truck that delivers it to the restaurant. Doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.


    – ‘Greenhouse carbon tax exemption will replace the Greenhouse Carbon Tax Relief Grant’ @

    – Learn more about the original grant program.PDF @

    – April 12, 2021 – Greenhouse Canada article regarding 2020 start of grant program.

  3. You think that heating our homes is selfishly convenient’?

    I’d say that ‘necessities’ should NEVER have had a carbon tax in them. That was just easy pickings — low hanging fruit – for the government to slap a tax on.

    Otherwise, Yes, you’re correct, we should do what’s right

    • I am not against fossil fuels. But I am for the judicious use of them and all other energy sources. It pains me to see Canadians not minding their energy use. It pains me to see Canadians always complaining about this and about that. I wish Canadians would become a thankful, community-oriented people.

  4. We have the rights to do what’s right not what is selfishly convenient. I am ok with the carbon tax and I would go further in implementing a tax on all gas (or diesel) guzzlers vehicles out there. We need to do much more in conserving energy and care for the environment, it is our duty.

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