EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is rejecting a new report that calls for a massive wealth transfer from his province and Saskatchewan as part of a plan to reduce Canada’s carbon emissions.
The report, by the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation, says Ottawa should drain billions of dollars from the two energy-rich provinces through carbon levies as one way to meet Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Stelmach says Canada should look at other alternatives to reduce emissions that cause global warming. Alberta, he says, is suffering through a recession just like every other province and “you can’t get blood out of a rock.”
“There won’t be another wealth transfer to Ottawa under my watch,” he said. “There is already one wealth transfer program and that’s equalization.
“In the last 10 years, the net transfer out of this province to Ottawa was $117 billion.”
Stelmach is urging Canadians to focus on inventive ways to reduce emissions, rather than on carbon credits or imposing levies on energy producers which simply transfer wealth from one region to another.
“There’s all these ideas coming forward and it’s all about sending money someplace else,” he said. “Nobody’s talking about introducing technology.”
The report was sponsored in part by TD Bank Financial Group, but its first page includes a notation that “TD does not advocate any particular greenhouse gas targets for Canada.” The same page also notes that the technology and policy choices in the report only represent some of the potential scenarios for achieving Canada’s emissions targets by 2020.