City staff may soon see an additional carbon price fee attached to their air travel charges. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria council looks to self-impose carbon tax on staff airfare

A new carbon pricing fee would put additional funds into the city’s Climate Action Reserve

Victoria City Council may soon instate a carbon pricing fee on top of its corporate air travel budget.

A motion put forward by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Coun. Laurel Collins hopes to add an additional $150 per tonne to the cost of their budgeted flights in a continued effort to apply a “climate lens” to their actions, as a part of the city’s developing Corporate Energy and Emissions Management System (CEEMS).

“In a climate emergency we should have to pay a carbon price for our air travel, it just makes sense,” said Helps. “It’s not just symbolic, it’s a real price.”

ALSO READ: City of Victoria releases draft 2019 budget

The carbon price would be determined by using a carbon price calculator through the city’s finance department. As an example, staff said an economy round trip flight from Victoria to Vancouver would produce .02 tonnes of carbon emissions, totalling an additional $30, while a return trip to Toronto would cost an additional $189.

In 2018 city staff took approximately 100 trips by air, with 40 of the flights going between Victoria and Vancouver. If the fees had been in place for 2018 travels, the city would have paid an additional $6,000.

The additional funds would come from the city’s travel budget and go directly to the Climate Action Reserve fund, which as of December 2018 sat at $794,445.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria officials take climate emergency request to CRD

“I did my carbon calculation, and being the mayor there’s a carbon footprint that goes with it,” Helps said, adding that in her personal life she never travels by air. “But if we are going to travel for work, which we need to do time to time, we should pay a carbon price.”

Currently, the city’s travel budget is $383,000 annually for the mayor, council and city staff members.

Helps said that while the fee isn’t in place to discourage travel, the additional costs may decrease the number of trips staff can take on the city’s budget.

“We are taking a climate lens to all of our city’s operations,” she said. “People can expect to see little policies like this on an ongoing basis.”

If the motion passes in council on Thursday, April 26, the fees would come into effect immediately.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Esquimalt arson trial hears of feud with tenant before the fire

Wei Li charged with intentionally setting fire to a duplex he owned on Oct. 3, 2017

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read