Hundreds protest the carbon tax in Red Deer

Hundreds gathered in Red Deer to protest the carbon tax on Saturday.

It was one of 12 Alberta-wide rallies against the carbon tax, which is set to begin on Jan.1.

“The government’s plan on the carbon tax is to try to tackle the environment by taxing “hockey” moms and dads and it’s not going to work. What we’ve seen from this crowd here today is that Albertans are fundamentally rejecting this plan and are really trying to send a message to Premier (Rachel) Notley that this is not the way to go,” said Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon.

Protesters signed a petition calling for a referendum on the carbon tax.

Nixon said the chances of the carbon tax being revoked are very slim, but he believes these types of rallies can bring forward change.

“When Albertans are standing up to the government and sending a clear message that they don’t accept which way the government is going, it does have an impact. It doesn’t stop everything the government is doing and the reality is they a have a majority government, but things can change,” said Nixon.

“Rachel Notley and her caucus are going to move forward no matter what. It’s disappointing. We’ve tried as the opposition to move on a different track and have different discussions.”

Nixon said he has a hard time believing that any good can come from a carbon tax. He said the carbon tax is essentially a provincial sales tax on our economy. It’s going to cost us directly on our fuel costs, heating costs and the cost of everything. When trucking fuel goes up and locomotive fuel goes up, everything goes up. From the carrot you buy at the grocery store to the Christmas presents you buy for your kids,” said Nixon.

Notley has said the revenue from the carbon tax will be used solely on green programs and incentives.

Protester Trevor Freimark said he would like the premier to be more specific on how the government will spend the revenue from the carbon tax.

“Rachel Notley wants to bring in a carbon tax and I can guarantee you it’s going to go towards anything else besides carbon. I have no problem paying the tax, but tell me where it’s going and they can’t tell us that,” said Freimark.

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