A campaign worker steams the wrinkles from a large Alberta flag at an event venue in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The posting for a new high-level Alberta government job supposed to help the province align with environmental concerns from financial markets seems more about talk than action, observers say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta calls on feds to halt carbon tax increase

The Government of Alberta will introduce a motion in the legislative assembly to urge the federal government to halt the increase to the carbon tax scheduled for April 1.

According to the Bank of Canada, the scheduled increase of the carbon tax to $50 a ton will increase inflation by an estimated 0.5 per cent while inflation is already at a 30-year high, the provincial government said Monday.

Alberta’s government previously announced it will stop the collection of the provincial fuel tax effective April 1 and provide families with $150 electricity rebates.

“Now we need the Government of Canada to stop increasing the cost of living by shelving their planned April 1 carbon tax hike, which they intend to more than triple over the years to come,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

The federal carbon tax rate on gasoline is set to increase from just under nine cents per litre to just over 11 cents per litre.

Kevin Lacey, Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Alberta director, said his organization applauds the provincial government’s opposition to the carbon tax.

“Justin Trudeau needs to hear this message,” said Lacey.

“Albertans have had enough of this tax and it’s time to cut us a break. Ignoring the provincial government’s calls for action isn’t punishing our politicians, he’s punishing hard-working Albertans who are struggling under Ottawa’s high taxes.”

The motion being introduced in the legislature is: “Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly call on the Government of Canada to stop its planned April 1, 2022 increase of the carbon tax to $50 per ton, and its further plan to increase the carbon tax to $170 per ton, given that Canadian families are struggling with the highest inflation in 30 years.”

Kenney said this motion is being introduced to demonstrate Alberta’s opposition to the government hiking the carbon tax “right when Canadians are already struggling from rising costs on everything from food and grocery stores, to home heating, to filling up our cars.”

“These aren’t optional expenses or luxuries that folks can do without. These are basic costs that people have when they live, work and raise their family in this cold northern country,” he said.

Kenney described the tax hike as “another body blow to Albertans.”

Travis Toews, treasury board president and minister of finance, said halting the carbon tax is critical at a time when inflation is already “challenging families” across Canada.

“The best thing a government can do during inflationary pressures is to spend less, borrow less and tax less. We are doing just that, but in order for Albertans to feel the difference, the federal government needs to do the same,” said Toews.



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