Carbon offset cash to go back to hospitals, colleges

The B.C. government is continuing to remake its unpopular "carbon neutral government" program

Health Minister Terry Lake listens as Environment Minister Mary Polak announces changes to carbon neutral government program Tuesday.

Health Minister Terry Lake listens as Environment Minister Mary Polak announces changes to carbon neutral government program Tuesday.

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is continuing to remake its unpopular “carbon neutral government” program, expanding a fund to return carbon offset payments to hospitals and post-secondary institutions for energy saving projects.

The new capital fund is an expansion of the “carbon neutral capital program” that was set up for B.C.’s 60 school districts in 2012. The fund is financed via a 2010 law that forces all public sector entities to pay $25 per tonne for greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.

Environment Minister Mary Polak announced Tuesday that carbon offsets from health authorities, colleges and universities will be added to the school capital fund, which districts apply to with energy saving ideas such as insulation or boiler replacement.

The carbon neutral government plan was controversial from the start, as school and health districts had to divert millions from their budgets to offset their heating, lighting and transportation emissions.

Its popularity didn’t improve when the first big carbon offsets chosen by the Pacific Carbon Trust included a gas well flare reduction program for Encana Corp. in northern B.C.

Then B.C.’s Auditor General reported that the flaring project and a forest preserve in the Kootenays were not valid carbon offsets, because both were underway before carbon offset money was offered to help them. The Pacific Carbon Trust was wound up last year, with offsets chosen by small group in the environment ministry.

The education ministry also announced Tuesday its latest energy saving project funded in 28 school districts. They include boiler replacements, heat pumps and electric cars. School bus emissions have been exempted from the carbon neutral government program since the beginning.

 

Just Posted

Police are looking for witnesses and video footage after a crash on June 18. (Photo courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP looking for videos related to Corvette crash

Driver believed to have fled the scene of View Royal crash

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)
Beaver Lake area project passes next hurdle in Saanich

Council approval for 242-unit parks edge development hinges on meeting of conditions

Victoria police are looking for the owner of a pink and white bike they recovered in North Park. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for owner of child’s bike

Officers recovered the pink and white bike in North Park

A report on food security in Sooke reveals that nearly 15 per cent of people in Sooke have trouble getting food on the table. (The Canadian Press)
Food security a growing challenge in Sooke

‘This isn’t going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it’

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

By the end of life, the average North American has eaten the weight of a family sedan in sugar. (Pixabay.com)
FITNESS: Living the sweet life without too much sugar

Simple choices can have a major impact on your health

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Most Read