Little-loved Pacific Carbon Trust, a Campbell creation, an easy target

Vaughn Palmer
Pacific Carbon Trust

By the time cabinet minister Bill Bennett stepped into the legislature press theatre Tuesday to announce the pending doom of the Pacific Carbon Trust, the agency was pretty much orphaned in terms of support. School districts had denounced it. The auditor general had exposed it. Media coverage - for instance Gordon Hoekstra's stories in The Vancouver Sun 19 months ago - had thoroughly discredited it. Jordan Bateman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was on the cost-cutter equivalent of a mission from God to get rid of it. Ditto Bob Simpson, until recently the independent MLA for Cariboo North. The New Democrats, who can usually be counted on to say a good word about most public sector entities, said in their election platform that the trust would be "dissolved" - conjuring images of them readying a post-electoral vat of acid. Premier Christy Clark threw the thing at least halfway under the bus in her postelection instructions to Environment Minister Mary Polak: "Review the Pacific Carbon Trust and provide options for reform." The notion behind the trust, grounded in the B.C. Liberal climate plan of 2008, was to establish a vehicle for the purchase of carbon offsets.