Merran Smith of Clean Energy Canada is co-chair of the B.C. government’s new Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. names new climate advisory panel

Merran Smith, Teck executive Marcia Smith co-chairs

B.C.’s new climate advisory panel will work to make sure trade-sensitive industries and most citizens are not adversely affected by the carbon tax on fuels when it goes up next spring, Environment Minister George Heyman says.

Heyman said the group will make recommendations to the B.C. cabinet on how to resume increasing B.C.’s carbon tax without detrimental impact on carbon-producing industries or citizens. He said 80 per cent of people will receive some rebate under a program now under development.

B.C.’s carbon tax on fuels is going up by 17 per cent on April 1, and the revenue neutrality law is being changed so the NDP government can spend some of the revenues on transit, home energy retrofits and other green projects, as well as rebates for individuals.

Heyman introduced a new advisory group Monday. Co-chairs are Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, and Marcia Smith, senior vice-president of sustainability at Teck Resources Ltd.

Called the Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council, the group includes:

• Taylor Bachrach, mayor of Smithers

• Dave Collyer, past president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

• Matt Horne, climate policy manager for the City of Vancouver

• Lee Loftus, past president of the B.C. and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council

• Gavin McGarrigle, B.C. area director for Unifor; Michelle Molnar, environmental economist for the David Suzuki Foundation

• Nancy Olewiler, economist and Simon Fraser University professor

• Josie Osborne, mayor of Tofino

• Gordon Planes, Chief of the T’Sou-ke Nation

• Danielle Pohl, president of the Fraser Valley Labour Council

• Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council

• Sybil Seitzinger, executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions at University of Victoria

• Aaron Sumexheltza, Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band

• Karen Tam Wu, acting B.C. director of the Pembina Institute

• Kathryn Teneese, chair of the Ktunaxa Nation

• Jill Tipping, CEO of the B.C. Tech Association

• Tesicca Truong, co-founder of CityHive

• Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries

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