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Carbon tax to be axed by end of month

Alberta will soon no longer have a provincial carbon tax.

Alberta will soon no longer have a provincial carbon tax.

On Monday, Premier Jason Kenney said the carbon tax will be cancelled by May 30.

Dale Nally, UCP MLA-elect for Morinville-St. Albert said his party promised on the campaign trail to cancel the tax and once session starts they will deliver.

“We made a promise to repeal the job-killing carbon tax and we intend to stand by that. This will be our top priority when the session convenes,” Nally said.

“It’s going to be Bill 1,” Nally said.

Nally, who will be sworn-in later this month, said he knocked on thousands of doors during the campaign period and spoke with small business owners and farmers.

“The amount this tax is costing small business owners and farmers is huge. It’s in the thousands of dollars, not the hundreds of dollars, so it’s a roadblock to growth and it’s our intention to remove that roadblock,” Nally said.

St. Albert NDP MLA Marie Renaud, who was sworn in Monday, said the removal of the carbon pricing saddens her.

“Carbon pricing really is one of the most effective, least expensive means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It's about changing behaviour. It’s a free market solution to a massive problem,” Renaud said.

The St. Albert MLA rejected the idea that the carbon tax killed jobs and said the new government doesn’t take the “massive” threat of climate change seriously.

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change so this is going to get worse and worse,” Renaud said.

The NDP MLA said her government was giving rebates to low income earners to offset the cost and investing in trasitioning to green energy.

Nally noted that the NDP had planned to put the carbon tax revenue into general revenue.

“It's essentially a glorified sales tax or consumption tax and doesn't do anything for the environment,” Nally said.

The UCP MLA said his party plans to place a levy on big emitters instead.

“That revenue is going to go into a separate fund and it's going to be for innovative technologies for renewable energy, things along those lines. So it will actually do more for the environment than the carbon tax ever did,” Nally said.

Although the provincial government plans to end the carbon tax, residents of Alberta are still facing a federal carbon tax, which could replace the provincial one.

Nally said his government plans to fight the tax and doesn’t want residents paying any form of the carbon tax.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in Edmonton Friday, wouldn’t say if his government would immediately impose the federal tax if Alberta abandoned the provincial one, but added no province would be exempt from the tax.

Kenney originally said he would file a court challenge against the tax, but has since said he would delay or even not file at all.

The provinces of Saskatchewan and Ontario have filed court appeals against the tax and Saskatchewan recently lost in a split decision. Ontario is still awaiting a decision.

Kenney said his government will wait to see the result of the Ontario decision before they decide to file.


Jennifer Henderson

About the Author: Jennifer Henderson

Jennifer Henderson joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2016. She writes about municipal, provincial and federal politics; court and crime; general news and features.
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