What effect will Alberta’s new carbon tax have on Calgary schools?

Will Calgary schools face increased costs thanks to the new carbon tax?.
Will Calgary schools face increased costs thanks to the new carbon tax?. Global News

Some Edmonton-area school boards are anticipating an increase in both busing costs and school heating costs based on the Alberta government’s new carbon tax.

The Edmonton Catholic School Board crunched the numbers and said they expect their transportation costs will increase by $217,000 for the 2016-17 school year based on increased taxes on fuel costs.

Edmonton Catholic’s board chair Marilyn Bergstra said the cost to heat her district’s schools will also increase based on the forthcoming levy on natural gas. They are anticipating an additional cost of $220,000 for school year 2016-2017 and $520,000 in the 2017-2018 school year.

READ MORE: Edmonton-area school boards bracing for impact of carbon tax

The Wildrose party issued a press release Thursday that said the Edmonton Public School Board can also expect to pay more money.

The opposition party estimated the cost to fill the tanks for the 500 buses in Edmonton’s public system will add between $6,000 to $10,000 each time.

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The Calgary Public Board of Education (CBE) will likely see even higher costs based on the fact it serves more students. In a release put out in February, the CBE estimated  it had 800 buses compared to the 500 in Edmonton for the 2015-16 school year.

Based on those numbers, the opposition Wildrose told Global News it is reasonable to expect an increased cost between $10,000 to $17,000 every time buses need to fill up in Calgary.

READ MORE: CBE seeks public input to create better bussing plan

The Wildrose party also said it anticipates the cost of heating schools will go up. According to their respective websites, there are currently 202 schools within the public system in Edmonton while Calgary has 220 schools for the 2015-16 school year.

Global News has contacted the CBE to see if they have looked at any potential increases in costs for busing or heating. They did not have those numbers available at the time, but said  they will provide them.

In a statement to Global News Education Minister David Eggen said the department will “continue working with school boards and education partners as we implement our Climate Leadership Plan.”