Alberta’s UCP government will be introducing a motion to urge the federal Liberal government to halt the carbon tax increase scheduled to take effect April 1.
The motion being introduced in the Alberta legislature is: “Be it resolved that the legislative assembly call on the government of Canada to stop its planned April 1, 2022 increase of the carbon tax to $50 per ton, and its further plan to increase the carbon tax to $170 per ton, given that Canadian families are struggling with the highest inflation in 30 years.”
The province announced March 7 that it would stop collecting provincial fuel taxes starting April 1. Currently, Albertans pay 13 cents per litre in fuel tax.
The initiative will be put in place for the entirety of the 2022-23 fiscal year, but will be reassessed on July 1 and every quarter after that. It will also be reassessed before the government’s next budget.
Premier Jason Kenney previously called this move a “back-door way” to scrap the federal carbon tax in the province, which he said punishes people for consuming energy.
“Those economists, the NDP and Liberals are in favour of carbon taxes that drive up energy prices. This is a fundamental philosophical difference,” Kenney said on Mar. 10.
“Albertans spoke to this in the last provincial election and we are fulfilling our commitment in a way to scrap the carbon tax.”
Kenney’s government also announced a $150 electricity rebate for Alberta families.
There will be no need to apply for the rebate, as it will be automatically applied to anyone who used few than 250 megawatts of electricity.
The change in gas tax and the two rebate programs don’t go far enough, the Opposition NDP said in a statement.
“Albertans are struggling right now. The cost of everything is going up, and many of these rising costs are a direct result of UCP policy,” energy critic Kathleen Ganley said. “The UCP’s latest plan falls well short of what’s needed and Albertans will continue to struggle with basic costs.”
“Enough with these fake rebates that will never help Albertans.”
According to the 2022 budget, Alberta was set to collect about $1.284 billion in the provincial gas tax.
“The very first act of this government in 2019 was to end the carbon tax through Bill 1 because we knew the damage it would do to the economy and to families,” said government house leader Jason Nixon.
“Now, with the rising cost of everything from gas to groceries, we will be formally calling on the government of Canada to halt the carbon tax increase scheduled for April 1.”
“We need the government of Canada to stop increasing the cost of living by shelving their planned April 1 carbon tax hike, which they intend to more than triple over the years to come,” Kenney added.