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

Cougars spotted in Sproat Lake neighbourhoods

ACRD director warns residents to keep children, pets close

Who are the Frozen Franklins? Find out at the Alberni Valley Museum

The museum and Echoes in the Ice exhibit are open April 20 during Easter weekend

Former teacher returns to Port Alberni to lead Alzheimer’s Walk

Jory Mitchell celebrates his journey with late wife and her Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve issues cougar warning at Kennedy Lake

Cougar encounter reported between Tofino and Ucluelet.

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

Parliament Hill 4-20 organizers predict record crowd after legalization

A celebration? Yes, but organizers say concerns remain about the government’s decisions on legalization rollout

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, multiple people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Most Read