NDP whip insists caucus will vote against carbon tax

Katrine Conroy, opposition caucus whip, told the Straight the NDP caucus will vote against B.C. Finance Minister Carole Taylor’s carbon tax.

“We are voting against it,” Conroy said by phone from Victoria. “It has got some real issues among caucus members. As you know, the government acknowledges that it will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. We don’t think it will.”

The Straight then asked what the consequences would be if someone from the NDP ranks voted in favour. “I don’t think that’s going to be an issue,” Conroy replied.

The B.C. Liberals have a deluge of bills before the house, including Bill 37, the Carbon Tax Act, which Taylor introduced for first reading April 28. Speaking from Victoria on May 13, Vancouver-Fairview MLA Gregor Robertson told the Straight he had “no idea” whether the vote would be a whipped vote or a free vote. “It’s not been called for debate yet,” Robertson said.

Conroy would also not confirm whether an NDP MLA such as Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows’s Michael Sather would be censured if he voted in favour of the carbon tax. Both Conroy and NDP Leader Carole James suspended Sather last September for stating he would vote against ratification of a treaty with the Tsawwassen First Nation.

“I don’t discuss issues like that with anybody, and if there is anything that happens it is between me and the member,” Conroy said. “It is a caucus position and if members have issues with caucus positions, they are free to discuss it with the caucus whip and house leader.”

Will members then be suspended from caucus if they cast a yea vote?

“I don’t think we need to go there.”

See also, Gregor Robertson tightlipped on carbon tax.