File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS                                Jason Kenney Alberta is worse off than when the NDP took office in 2015, even after taking into account a drop in oil prices.

File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Jason Kenney Alberta is worse off than when the NDP took office in 2015, even after taking into account a drop in oil prices.

Alberta Opposition leader critical of NDP government’s tax changes

CALGARY — Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney says tax changes under the NDP government have been a disaster and he’s hinting that his party would immediately cut corporate income taxes if elected.

“The NDP promised change, but instead what they gave us is a record of economic failure — the worst economic record of any government in the history of Alberta since the Great Depression,” Kenney said Friday in a speech at the Metropolitan Conference Centre in Calgary.

The leader of the United Conservative Party, with charts and graphs flashing on screens beside him, said by any economic metric — employment statistics, corporate vacancy rates, earnings or housing prices — Alberta is worse off than when the NDP took office in 2015, even after taking into account a drop in oil prices.

Kenney said the New Democrats inherited a difficult situation, but made it worse by increasing personal income taxes on the wealthy, boosting corporate income tax, introducing a carbon levy on fossil-fuel heating and gasoline, and bringing in more rules and regulations for employers.

Those decisions were not economic, he said, but born of blinkered ideology.

“They wanted to soak the rich. Good old-fashioned socialist politics of resentment,” said Kenney.

“And what has happened? People have moved their income out of this province. Capital has fled. And revenues from these tax sources have gone down.”

The NDP increased the corporate tax to 12 per cent from 10 soon after taking office in 2015 and boosted personal income tax rates on high earners. They later cut the small business tax to two per cent from three.

Kenney said the NDP promised greater tax revenues would accrue.

“They told us (the changes) would increase tax revenues by $6 billion over three years. Instead of $6 billion more in revenues, including personal and corporate income taxes, we are down nearly $8.5 billion than the NDP projections over this period.”

In Edmonton, Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous said Kenney’s “grim reaper” analysis of the economy does not match reality, especially given that the province has no sales tax.

“Albertans pay the lowest taxes in the country, and by a mile,” Bilous said at the legislature.

“Even with the price on carbon, Albertans pay $11 billion less than the second-lowest taxed jurisdiction in Canada, which is Saskatchewan.

“We have no payroll tax, we have no PST, and we have no health-care premiums.”

Rebuilding Alberta’s economy starts with cutting taxes on employers, said Kenney, who added details of his tax plan will be rolled out Monday.

Jason Kenney

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City council will have to wait longer to hear back from administration on possible alternative sites — if the homeless shelter is moved from Red Deer downtown. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alternative sites for homeless shelter will be explored by the City of Red Deer

Council gave administration more time to return with a report

Quentin Lee Strawberry Photo from RCMP
Updated: O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

(Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer property tax bills are in the mail

Red Deer 2021 tax notices are on their way Red Deer property… Continue reading

"They’re angry. They’re frustrated,” Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling says of his members, whose pension assets have been transferred to a provincial Crown corporation. (Photo contributed)
Only 17% of Albertans support draft curriculum: teachers’ association

Fewer than one-in-five Albertans support the provincial government’s draft K-6 curriculum, says… Continue reading

‘Dear Future Children’ takes top audience prize at Hot Docs film festival

‘Dear Future Children’ takes top audience prize at Hot Docs film festival

FILE - Signage promoting the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards and NBC appears in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Jan. 5, 2020. NBC said Monday that will not air the Golden Globes in 2022. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Amid outcry, NBC says it will not air Golden Globes in 2022

Amid outcry, NBC says it will not air Golden Globes in 2022

RCMP officers work at the scene after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. Homicide investigators expect to release more information about a deadly shooting in Burnaby on Saturday that police say could be linked to a similar slaying at Vancouver's airport just one day later. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘We will do everything we can,’ B.C. police say to reassure public amid gang violence

‘We will do everything we can,’ B.C. police say to reassure public amid gang violence

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US ship fires warning shots in encounter with Iranian boats

US ship fires warning shots in encounter with Iranian boats

A Palestinian protester does a handstand next to a fire which was set on a road during clashes with Israeli police near Damascus Gate just outside Jerusalem's Old City, Sunday, May 9, 2021. Israeli police have been clashing with Palestinian protesters almost nightly in the holy city's worst religious unrest in several years. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Hamas launches new attack on Israel after Jerusalem clashes

Hamas launches new attack on Israel after Jerusalem clashes

Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet holds a news conference before Question Period, Monday, May 10, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
NDP join Liberals to cut short debate, move pandemic election bill forward

NDP join Liberals to cut short debate, move pandemic election bill forward

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Iqaluit elders home evacuated after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Iqaluit elders home evacuated after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh listens to a question as he speaks with reporters on Parliament Hill, Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Ottawa. Singh says he believes there's a connection between anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests and far-right extremism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Pandemic of hate’: Leaders, experts warn anti-lockdown protests linked to far right

‘Pandemic of hate’: Leaders, experts warn anti-lockdown protests linked to far right

Most Read