SUNDRE — The UCP government plans to fight a newly announced federal climate plan that will see the carbon tax jump from $50 per tonne in 2022 to $170 per tonne in 2030, says area MLA Jason Nixon.
The federal government says the plan is needed to protect the environment and grow the national economy.
“In my own constituency of Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, the reality is they don’t want a carbon tax, they don’t want to go to the pump and see a 40 cent increase per litre for gasoline as they try to drive their kids to hockey games,” said Nixon, the province’s minister of Environment and Parks.
“We see the carbon tax as a tax on everything within our economy that will the raise the price of everything from gas to groceries. We do not believe that taxing people for going about their daily lives or heating their homes is the way forward and that will continue to be the position of this province.”
“I can assure Albertans their government will do everything possible to protect them from these increases that the Trudeau Liberals are forcing on Albertans when it comes to a carbon tax within our province,” said Nixon.
The new federal plan will promote investment and protect the environment at the same time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in announcing the new measures.
“Canadians are beginning to understand that you cannot have a plan for the future of the economy if you don’t have a plan to fight climate change,” said Trudeau.
The plan includes a $1.5 billion investment in improving community building energy efficiencies and a $2.6 billion investment toward improving residential home energy efficiencies.
“There is no vaccine for a polluted planet,” he said. “It is up to us to act because there is a real cost to pollution.”
Exactly how much gasoline prices will increase under the new plan will depend, in part, on how much of the federal carbon tax companies pass on to consumers.
The plan will cause significant economic pain in Alberta, said Nixon.
“This will result in job loses inside our province and any job inside this province is completely and utterly unacceptable at any time but particularly when we are in the fighting of a global pandemic and the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression,” he said.
The UCP government plans to pursue court action against the plan, he said.
“The prime minister continues to impose his Ottawa-knows-best attitude on Alberta at a time when Albertans can least afford it,” he said. “The fact remains that any action the federal government takes on climate and emission action must be within its own jurisdiction. We believe we have a significant case.”
The province’s TIER program is going a long way toward helping Canada achieve worthwhile environmental goals, he said.
“Alberta will continue to meet our environmental obligations in our own way,” he said.