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Balanced Budget 2008


$1 Billion for Climate Action

Balanced Budget 2008 provides an additional $1 billion over four years for operating and capital expenditures and tax incentives to encourage environmentally responsible choices, implement new regulatory requirements, undertake cutting-edge research, and make needed low-carbon investments.

New climate action initiatives include:

  • $98 million for the new LiveSmartBC: Efficiency Incentive Program and other initiatives to encourage individuals and communities to make more energy-efficient choices for their homes, businesses and vehicles;
  • $370 million for capital and operating expenses to improve and expand public transportation in British Columbia;
  • $33 million for transportation initiatives to reduce emissions from commercial truck and ship traffic at B.C.’s ports and in technology to reduce idling at truck-stop and weigh-scale locations;
  • $130 million in capital and operating expenses for a carbon-neutral public sector by 2010, including energy-efficiency retrofits for public buildings, establishing the Pacific Carbon Trust, and the use of desktop video-conferencing technology and low-carbon procurement practices;
  • $9 million for key commitments from the 2007 Throne Speech and the Energy Plan such as designing a Green Building Code, creating emissions standards for landfills and new motor vehicles, and developing a “cap and trade” system for large greenhouse gas emitters;
  • $57 million for bioenergy and alternative energy solutions such as establishing a Bioenergy Network, introducing a biodiesel production incentive, expanding solar thermal energy systems, and supporting the Innovative Clean Energy Fund;
  • $98 million for climate change research through an endowment to the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, and to undertake a feasibility analysis on carbon capture and storage technology for natural gas production;
  • $111 million — including $62 million for contingencies to develop additional climate action solutions — to undertake stakeholder consultations, establish and fund the Citizens’ Conservation Council, assist the Climate Action Team, and support public outreach to promote greener choices;
  • $31 million to support innovation in the pulp and paper industry to further reduce its carbon footprint and enhance the carbon storage potential of B.C. forests;
  • $49 million to improve B.C.’s ability to adapt to climate change implications, including funds to enhance climate data collection systems and funding for flood protection and planning;
  • $15 million over three years to increase the equity tax credit budget by $5 million per year and set a tax credit budget of $7.5 million for clean technology businesses;
  • Expanding intellectual property to include green-related patents;
  • $33 million to provide tax relief for the purchase of conventional fuel-efficient vehicles that meet the fuel efficiency criteria set out in the federal government’s ecoAuto rebate program;
  • Providing PST exemptions for:
    • ENERGY STAR-qualified residential refrigerators, clothes washers and freezers,
    • energy efficient residential gas fired water heaters,
    • insulation for hot water tanks, hot and cold water pipes, and ductwork,
    • production machinery and equipment for local governments for power production and cogeneration,
    • biodiesel fuel or portion of biodiesel fuel for heating, and
    • aerodynamic devices for commercial tractor-trailer vehicles;
  • Providing relief from passenger vehicle rental tax for rentals of eight hours or less;
  • Expanding the PST exemption on bicycles to include electric-assisted two and three wheel cycles and non-motorized adult tricycles;
  • Reducing the tax payable on electric motorcycles;
  • Reducing PST payable on hydrogen fuel cell buses to match the tax reduction available for other alternative fuel buses;
  • Repealing PST exemption on purchases of coal and coke, except for residential use; and,
  • Classifying biodiesel and ethanol as alternative motor fuels for all purposes.


For the Finance Minister’s speech and more details on Balanced Budget 2008, visit online.

Visit the Province’s website at for online information and services.

Media Contact:
Finance communications
Public Affairs Bureau
250 387-5013
Balanced Budget 2008 Home.