Renowned environmental activist Tzeporah Berman says that Canada’s carbon tax is still an important policy, despite affordability being an issue in B.C. and beyond.
Berman is an award-winning activist, co-founder of Stand.earth, and was on the ground of B.C.’s “War in the Woods” 30 years ago when protesters were gathering on Meares Island, Tofino’s drinking water source, to rally against logging.
More than 800 people were arrested that year, marking one of the most significant public protests in Canadian history.
While speaking with This is VANCOLOUR’s Mo Amir, Berman said Canada’s carbon tax is in place to help reduce further climate harm.
“There’s a lot of evidence to show that the extreme fires that we are experiencing, literally across the country … that’s because of the carbon we put in our atmosphere in the past,” she said.
By taxing carbon now, it will lower the amount that’s put into the atmosphere and help soften the impacts of future climate events, Berman says.
While affordability continues to be a concern for Canadians across the country, Berman says repealing the carbon tax isn’t the answer in the long term.
“It’s sort of like saying, ‘If I don’t eat this piece of cake, I’m not going to be skinny tomorrow, so might as well eat this whole cake,’” she said.
“It doesn’t work that way. Life doesn’t work that way.”
On the latest episode of This is VANCOLOUR, Amir also spoke with freelance journalist Michelle Cyca about housing in the country.
Cyca says real estate is Canada’s largest economic sector and accounts for roughly one fifth of the nation’s wealth.
She suspects politicians find it difficult to ramp up housing inventory without significantly lowering property value, which many people – particularly older, homeowning voters – rely on for their finances.
“So there’s very little stability for people renting in that system and there’s a lot of incentives for people to prioritize greed over promoting liveable conditions,” she said.
The full episode of This is VANCOLOUR can be found on the CHEK+ website and app.