Provincial carbon tax having major impact on majority of Alberta residents: poll

Several hundred people gathered for an anti-carbon tax rally at the Alberta legislature on Saturday, which was organized by conservative news organization Rebel Media. December 3, 2016. Julia Wong, Global News

A new poll suggests the carbon tax has had an impact on the majority of Albertans.

A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll shows 51 per cent of Albertans said the provincial carbon tax has had a major impact on their lives, while 42 per cent said the has had a minor impact.

Mainstreet Research president Quito Maggi said the results are much different in Edmonton compared to the rest of the province.

“Sixty-three per cent of Edmontonians said the carbon tax had had a minor impact on their lives, that’s in stark contrast to the provincial average,” Maggi said.

“It’s Albertans who live outside major urban centres who are most likely to say that they have felt a major impact from the Carbon Tax.”

READ MORE: Alberta carbon tax kicks in: ‘It’s already here, we can’t do anything about it’

Fifty-eight per cent of rural Albertans said the tax has had a major impact on their lives.

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However, the poll suggests more Albertans support the carbon tax than late last year.

According to Mainstreet, 64 per cent of Albertans oppose the tax, which is two per cent less than December, and 34 per cent said they support it, which is up five percentage points.

“In 2015, support for a phase out of coal was only at 44 per cent with 50 per cent opposed. Now, 58 per cent support a phase out of coal. It’s important to note that the wording on these questions has changed as well,” Maggi said.

“In 2015, we asked about a coal phase out in conjunction with investment in green energy projects. This year we asked about support and opposition to a phase out of coal on a standalone basis.”

READ MORE: Alberta begins issuing carbon tax rebates to families

Support for the phase out is highest in Edmonton where 75 per cent approve the measure, Maggi added.

The poll also suggests the majority of Albertans, 54 per cent, are opposed to the province’s plan to introduce an emissions cap, with opposition highest outside Edmonton and Calgary.

“There’s no question that underlying the support for many of these measures are Albertan’s opinions of climate change itself. 52 per cent of Albertans say that changes to the Earth’s temperatures are caused by human activity, 39 per cent say that these changes are natural,” Maggi said.

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The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of 1.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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