The Lower Mainland's health authorities will have to dig more than $4 million a year out of their already stretched budgets to pay B.C.'s carbon tax and offset their carbon footprints.See also the waiting time for surgery to correct incontinence (Google translation). And this Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Critics say the payments mean the government's strategy to fight climate change will further exacerbate a crisis in health funding.
"You have public hospitals cutting services to pay a tax that goes to another 100 per cent government-owned agency," NDP health critic Adrian Dix said.
"That just doesn't make sense."
The Fraser Health Authority will pay $616,000 in carbon tax this year, rising to $821,000 next year, officials there said.
And by 2010 Fraser will also be paying $1.3 million a year to the province's Pacific Carbon Trust to offset its projected 52,600 tonnes of carbon emissions released. . .
Dix warned that some of the potential cuts -- such as closing the ER at Mission Memorial Hospital -- would actually increase carbon emissions by sending patients further afield.
"Obviously when you shut down regional centres it makes people travel farther to get to their health care facility," he said.
(via Don Surber)