In 1998, shortly after Sightline (then, Northwest Environment Watch) published Tax Shift (pdf), Gordon Campbell, then BC’s opposition leader, invited me for a sit-down to discuss the book. He had read it and said he loved it. At the time, the New Democratic BC government was gearing up to do a pilot tax shift, inspired by the book. It was also about to be routed in provincial elections, to be replaced by Campbell’s Liberals.
Campbell said, “In our first term, we’re not going to shift taxes. We’re going to lower them. But in our second term, we might.” I didn’t put much stock in his words.
Maybe I should have.
Today’s Globe and Mail reports that Campbell’s Finance Minister Carole Taylor is seriously considering introducing North America’s first real carbon tax, paired with reduced income taxes. She calls it a “tax shift.”