Sarah Hoffman, newly appointed Alberta Deputy Premier is sworn in, in Edmonton Alta, on Monday February 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta’s carbon tax jumps

Alberta’s carbon tax jumped on New Year’s Day, but the province’s NDP government maintains the tax played a vital role in Alberta’s improving economic outlook

Alberta’s carbon tax jumped on New Year’s Day, but the province’s NDP government maintains the tax played a vital role in Alberta’s improving economic outlook.

Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman told reporters there was a clear link between the approval of several pipelines last year and the tax that Alberta first introduced on carbon on January 1, 2017.

Hoffman noted the federal government was clear that its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the B.C. coast was due to Alberta putting a price on carbon, as well as other pieces of its climate change policy.

Alberta’s carbon levy jumped from $20 per tonne to $30 per tonne on Monday, which Hoffman says will mean an extra two-and-a-half cents per litre at the gas pumps.

Opposition Leader Jason Kenney of the United Conservative Party posted a video to social media on New Year’s Eve where he gassed up his truck before the hike, similar to a video he posted last year where he did the same thing.

Kenney says the tax has already killed thousands of good paying jobs, put entrepreneurs out of business and made life more expensive for families.

“The carbon tax is all economic pain with no environmental gain,” Kenney said Monday in a statement.

The province says revenue from the levy, which also includes a tax on heating bills, will continue to be invested in green infrastructure, encouraging Albertans to be energy efficient and renewable energy.

It says low- and middle-income Albertans will also see an increase in rebates the province provides to offset the carbon tax.

Hoffman noted that 2017 continued to be “tough,” but said Alberta has “definitely rounded the corner” and that there were ”tens of thousands of new jobs.”

The government said a couple with two children earning up to $95,000 per year will receive a rebate of $540.

“I don’t think it has been as shocking to Albertans on the cost side as many would want you to believe it would be. It hasn’t necessarily been easy. Any time you’re paying a bit more, it’s a challenge,” Hoffman said.

“But we’ve done it in a way that protects ordinary Albertans and gets us that very important environmental leadership profile that we need to ensure we have a strong economy for future generations.”

Kenney, however, noted that since the NDP announced its climate change plan, the prime minister vetoed the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, former U.S. president Barack Obama vetoed Keystone XL and the National Energy Board effectively killed Energy East.

He added the NDP government in B.C. was also trying to stop Trans Mountain from proceeding.

“Not one single government, party or special interest group has gone from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ on pipelines as a result of the NDP’s failed tax on everything,” Kenney said in the statement.

Kenney also repeated a point that the Opposition has made since the tax was first announced — that the NDP never mentioned a carbon tax during the 2015 election campaign. But in his video, Kenney’s message was that the NDP told Albertans they wouldn’t introduce a tax.

“This is the carbon tax they claimed they had no intention of imposing in the last provincial election,” Kenney said in the video.

UCP spokeswoman Annie Dormuth said Monday that both messages are the same.

“There is no discrepancy. The NDP implementing a carbon tax they never mentioned during the campaign is a lie by omission,” Dormuth said in an email.

Hoffman responded the NDP was clear during the 2015 campaign that it was going to take leadership on the environment and that it was working on details of a plan.

“Jason Kenney says a lot of things I find unusual or are contrary to the reality that we’re all living in,” she said. “He’s been cheering for Alberta to fail and he wants to pretend that only he can put the economy on the right track.”

Rob Drinkwater, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell refuses to stop distribution of election brochure

The District of Saanich has asked United for Saanich to “immediately” stop distribution

West Shore RCMP tape off Langford law office sent suspicious substance last month

No confirmation as to why police were back at Hemminger Law Group Monday afternoon

Saanich municipal candidate plays politics by a different tune

Trevor Barry is using musical earworms to strike up voters

BC SPCA sees successful weekend from adoption sales

On Saturday animal shelters across the province reduced their adoption fees

Campers near Saanich municipal hall await response from transportation ministry

MOTI expected to decide Monday when campers need to leave

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read