Reality Check | Is B.C.'s carbon tax green or not?

B.C.'s NDP Leader Adrian Dix may have changed his party's position on the carbon tax – but is he fair to portray it as not a green initiative?

"Since the carbon tax has been in place, not one penny of that tax has gone for environmental measures, to green measures, such as transit," said Dix on Tuesday in Kamloops when he rolled out his environmental platform.

The CBC's Reality Check team decided to examine that claim and look at the truth behind the carbon tax.

North America's first and only carbon tax was introduced by former premier Gordon Campbell and his finance minister Carole Taylor back in 2008 as part of an ambitious plan to cut provincial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by one-third by 2020.

LEADERS' DEBATEThe party leaders face off on CBC News
The unpopular tax started at 2.4-cents-a-litre on gasoline and eventually rose to 6.67-cents-a-litre by 2012. Similar taxes were levied on other fossil fuels, such as propane and natural gas, based on the amount of GHG they created.

But none of the money goes to transit, because the legislation specified it could only go to tax reduction.

"Every dollar raised will return to the people of B.C. in the form of lower taxes," said Taylor in February of 2008.

And in 2009, the government did cut income tax rates for both individuals and corporations.

NDP opposed the "gas tax"
Despite the tax cuts, the carbon tax was highly unpopular and during the 2009 election campaign, then NDP leader Carole James opposed the tax as New Democrat supporters lined the streets with "Axe the tax" posters.

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