Opinion by Joe Ceci: Jason Kenney is raising your taxes and hoping you won’t know it’s him

Opinion by Joe Ceci: Jason Kenney is raising your taxes and hoping you won’t know it’s him

Re: “Rural Alberta RCMP detachments getting 500 new positions,” Dec. 5.

Jason Kenney is raising your taxes and he’s hoping you won’t even know it’s him.

It’s a shocking betrayal of his central campaign promise, and it’s made even worse by his targeting of rural taxpayers.

Doug Schweitzer, the minister of justice, has announced plans to force municipalities to pay for the police officers he promised you by collecting an additional $200 million from communities with populations under 5,000.

The bait-and-switch here is that he promised the province would provide 500 new officers. Instead, municipalities will be paying for 300 and the government of Alberta will offer not one new red cent.

And where will these 300 police officers come from? Can this UCP government even deliver them?

What does that mean for rural Albertans? This will most certainly result in higher property taxes for those communities.

Here we are again. Jason Kenney is asking rural Albertans to pay more, but this time, it’ll be through higher property taxes.

Several town and county councils have already raised the alarm over this new policing funding scheme being imposed on them by the Kenney government.

The councils of Wetaskiwin, Lac La Biche, Lac Ste. Anne, Mountain View, Barrhead, Red Deer, Lacombe, Sundre and others have all written to the government or spoken to their local newspaper to protest.

County and town budgets are already stretched to the limit – that money has to come from somewhere and it’ll most likely be in the form of a tax increase.

And there’s the trick. Jason Kenney gets to maintain his claim that he’s not the one raising your taxes, while at the same time, forcing local councils to do it for him.

The money added to your property tax assessment has actually already been spent. Premier Kenney used it to pay for his $4.7-billion handout to big corporations.

It’s a rural tax grab to benefit the boardrooms of Toronto, straight out of the old PC playbook.

This corporate handout hasn’t created a single new job. November’s 18,000 job losses are the biggest drop in Alberta outside of a recession. We know from their quarterly reports that the corporations who got the most money from Kenney’s handout used this windfall to boost their shareholder dividends and buy back some of their own shares.

The handout has failed to create any jobs, but that $4.7-billion bill still has to be paid – by you.

There’s something fundamentally dishonest about campaigning on a promise not to raise taxes, and then strong-arming local governments to do the dirty work. That is exactly what Jason Kenney has done.

I strongly urge you to contact your local MLA, and ask them if they support a police funding scheme that will force your local council to raise your taxes. If they don’t support it, ask them what they’re going to do about it.

Unless your local MLA speaks up, alongside other government members, you’re going to see Jason Kenney’s tax hike on your next local property notice.

Joe Ceci is the NDP’s municipal affairs critic and MLA for Calgary-Buffalo.

Just Posted

Grade one teacher Heidi Dimou arranges the desks in line with physical distancing policy in her class in preparation for the new school year at the Willingdon Elementary School in Montreal, on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta students expected to return to in-person learning next week

Kids can anticipate a return to the classroom next week in Alberta.… Continue reading

This grizzly bear had been hanging out near Aurum Lodge and the Cline River area and was later destroyed by Fish and Wildlife, says an area resident. (Contributed photo).
Grizzly sniffing for human food west of Nordegg killed

Lodge owner reminds campers to keep all food away from wildlife

Coal mining in Rockies. CP photo
Alberta gov’t releases preliminary results from coal mining survey

The provincial government has released the initial results from its coal policy… Continue reading

(Black Press file photo.)
Wildfire advisory lifted for Rocky area

The wildfire danger in the Rocky Mountain House Forest Area is now… Continue reading

House sales drop in northwestern B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward)
Central Alberta real estate continues its hot streak

793 residential units sold in central Alberta through April compared with 210 in 2020

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Trudeau says he knew about investigation into general overseeing vaccines weeks ago

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he learned weeks ago that… Continue reading

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine and avoid quarantine on return if they meet some straightforward conditions, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirms.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Canadians can drive to U.S. for COVID-19 vax and avoid quarantine, Ottawa confirms

TORONTO — Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Quebec can modify part of the Canadian Constitution unilaterally: Trudeau

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Quebec can unilaterally modify part… Continue reading

In this Thursday, April 29, 2021, file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, West Germany. Canadian environmentalists are welcoming a report from the International Energy Agency that says new fossil fuel investment must end if the world is to meet its climate goals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Martin Meissner
Canadian environmentalists happy with International Energy Agency report

Environmentalists say a report from the International Energy Agency that concludes investment… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ceasefire needed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict to avoid loss of more civilians: PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is calling for a… Continue reading

A forest fire burns late into the evening northeast of Prince Albert, Sask., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Saskatchewan wildfire grows, forcing evacuations in the area to expand

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — Dry conditions and strong winds caused a large… Continue reading

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tam hopeful for summer even as Canada hits grim death milestone in COVID-19 pandemic

OTTAWA — Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says she expects… Continue reading

Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Pantling/Pool via AP
Canadian teenager Daniel Jebbison turns heads with Premier League goal

Jebbison, 17, is the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his first start in England’s top tier

Most Read