A piece of N.B.’s carbon pollution revenue “should go back into essential programing”: Corbett

The Conservation Council’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, recommends that a portion of the carbon revenue should be used to improve essential services that help keep citizens safe from the impacts of climate change.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do to protect our homes and our communities and our roads and our sewers,” Corbett told Global News. “So we take a little bit of that carbon tax, carbon pollution money and put it back into essential programming,” Corbett said, such as making infrastructure like roads and sewers more resilient in the face of climate change, and programs to help people purchase better windows and doors and better insulate their attics, walls and basements.

“It’s no good to take money away from people but not send it back into helping senior citizens in particular make their houses less drafty,” Corbett said.

Corbett says by directing a portion of the carbon fund toward adapting sewage systems, roads and electrical infrastructure for the climate change and extreme weather impacts we’re already experiencing, New Brunswick would save  on recurring repair costs and also help prevent or mitigate damage to flooded home basements and businesses.

According to the latest numbers by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, extreme weather events caused $1.3 billion in insured damage nationwide last year, including $200 million in damages caused by flooding in New Brunswick and Quebec. Winter storms in Atlantic Canada last year, along with Hurricane Dorian, accounted for $140 million in insured damages.

Corbett says the provincial government has a tremendous opportunity to do a lot of good with the climate fund, particularly helping New Brunswick’s most vulnerable populations, such as seniors, low income households and single mothers.

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