By Paula Brown
The Canadian government is going ahead with the carbon tax in Ontario, and Humber College’s Office of Sustainability is happy to see leadership in environmental efforts.
“We are happy to see leadership that tries to shape a more sustainable world, and this carbon tax is something that we see as a very positive change,” the college’s sustainability specialist Devon Fernandes says.
Premier Doug Ford wanted to have the carbon tax removed by Oct.1. an action the is directly at odds with the federal government’s plan. The tax, which will start in January 2019, will apply to the amount of carbon households and companies release. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at Humber’s North Campus on Oct. 23 that the government plans to carry out the tax. The tax is part of Canada’s efforts towards fighting climate change and was one of Trudeau’s campaign pledges in 2015.
Humber Lakeshore has been active for many years in sustainability with initiatives such as the Humber Honey Bees, an effort to increase the number of honeybees in the community, their Take Back the Tap campaign which encourages students to bring reusable water bottles to campus, and fair trade.
Humber Honey Bees, outside of L Building
“As a relatively new member to the team, it is really impressive to see the leadership that is brought into sustainability,” says Fernandes, who has been Humber’s Sustainability Strategist for four weeks. “It is something that is one of our core values at Humber.”
The UN international panel released a report on climate change in October 2018 saying there is about 12 years to address climate and sustainability issues.
“It underlines some of the work that we are doing,” says Fernandes. “It is something that we need to be pushing forward.”
Marjorie Brown, a student at Humber, says while she doesn’t follow environmental efforts closely, she is anxious about the environmental harm done.
“We only have so long to reverse the damage that we’ve done to the world, and that really scares me,” Brown says. “All the politics with people not believing in the carbon tax and thing like that, it really freaks me out.”
Tax prices will start at $20 per ton and will rise $10 each year until 2022 when they will reach $50 per ton.