Canadian Consulting Engineer

Cement industry upset by B.C. carbon tax

The cement industry is calling a foul by the British Columbia provincial government after the province's recent budget did not change how the carbon tax is applied to cement.

February 25, 2014   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The cement industry is calling a foul by the British Columbia provincial government after the province’s recent budget did not change how the carbon tax is applied to cement.

The industry objects to the fact that unlike locally produced cement, cement imported from the U.S. or Asia is exempt from the province’s carbon tax, giving foreign producers an unfair advantage. Since the carbon tax was introduced in 2008, local producers have lost nearly a third of the market share to importers.

On February 19, the Cement Association of Canada issued a statement expressing its “extreme disappointment with the decision of the B.C. government not to change how the carbon tax is applied to the cement sector in its 2014 budget.” It noted that the lack of action comes even after the province has acknowledged that the carbon tax “is not working.”

The association says the carbon tax as it is structured is jeopardizing jobs and the sustainability of the province’s cement industry, which is now running at only 65% of capacity. The industry consists of Lafarge Canada and Lehigh Hanson, who have traditionally provided 2,000 jobs.


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