Carbon Tax and its Implications Focus of Public Panel Discussion

Putting a price on carbon grabbed headlines during BC's recent election campaign but what has been the early outcome and impact of this new provincial policy? How is it affecting businesses, households and motorists? Is this policy bringing in a new era in green jobs and technologies for the province?

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), led and hosted by the University of Victoria, will raise these issues and others at a free public panel discussion entitled "The Future of Carbon Pricing: Implications of the BC Election." The event, co-sponsored by Sustainable Prosperity, a new policy research centre that aims to build a healthy environment and economy, will be held on Tuesday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pavilion Ballroom of the Sheraton Wall Centre, 1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver.

The panel is made up of influential commentators from the media as well as prominent policy analysts who will examine what the BC experiment and debate means for future climate change policy. Chairing the discussion will be Bruce Sampson, chair of the Vancouver-based International Centre for Sustainable Cities. Formerly the VP of sustainability at BC Hydro, Sampson was seconded by the provincial government to assist in the development of the province's new energy plan.

The panel members are: George Heyman, executive director of the Sierra Club of BC; Nancy Olewiler, professor and director of Simon Fraser University's public policy program; Vaughn Palmer, BC political columnist for the Vancouver Sun; and Jeffrey Simpson, national affairs columnist for the Globe and Mail. They will address the impact of the recent provincial election on: how social and environmental movements approach carbon pricing in Canada; the evolution of carbon pricing in Canada; and how BC, Canadian and other politicians will approach climate change policy.

The free public panel is part of the PICS first annual forum "Decoding Carbon Pricing: Achieving a Low-Carbon Society in British Columbia" from June 8 to 10 at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in downtown Vancouver. The forum will feature speakers and case studies from businesses and institutions discussing how they are changing their practices to account for the long-term impact of BC's carbon tax and how businesses are seeing BC's greenhouse gas policy as an opportunity to offer new kinds of services. The forum will also examine how carbon pricing can be effectively coordinated with other policies to achieve a low-carbon society.

Advance registration is required for the forum which will hear from approximately 30 speakers over the three days. The June 9 luncheon keynote speaker is Chris Walker, special advisor to and former North America director of The Climate Group, an international, non-profit organization that works to advance climate change solutions and accelerate a low-carbon economy. He will speak on "A Climate of Change: Never Have So Few Asked So Much of So Many."

PICS, a collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Northern BC, was created in 2008 by the provincial government to: increase understanding of the magnitude and patterns of climate change; evaluate its physical, economic, and social implications; assess options and develop solutions; and communicate climate change issues to government, industry and the general public.

For further registration and program information about the forum visit

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Media contacts

Robyn Meyer (PICS Communications Officer) at 250-853-3626 or

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Keywords: carbon, tax, implications, focus, public, panel, discussion

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