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Alberta UCP leader Jason Kenney wants referendum on carbon tax hikes

UCP leader Jason Kenney speaks to reporters after the speech from the throne on March 8, 2018. Wes Rosa, Global News

Alberta’s Opposition United Conservatives say there should be no more carbon tax hikes without the consent of the people.

United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney introduced a private member’s bill Thursday banning any future hikes on the tax without a referendum.

The bill would also prevent future governments from imposing a similar regime without the direct consent of voters.

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Kenney has called the carbon tax an unfair burden on Alberta residents and has promised to kill it altogether if he becomes premier in the spring 2019 election.

The levy was imposed in 2017 on home and business heating and gasoline to fund green projects ranging from solar panels to multibillion-dollar transit projects and programs to phase out coal-fired electricity.

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The province is taking in about $1 billion this fiscal year from the levy but is returning some of that through rebates to middle and low-income earning families.

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