by Morinville News Staff

The Wildrose Shadow Transportation Minister was critical Monday of the government’s plan to increase fuel prices for all Albertans.

The province’s carbon tax will add 4.5 cents to gas prices in January of 2017 and 6.7 cents in 2018. Diesel prices are set to go up more with a 5.35 cent hike in 2017 and to 8.03 cents in 2018.

Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Glenn van Dijken said the NDP move ignores “the transportation realities of living in a small or mid-size Alberta community.”

“Long commutes aren’t an option in rural Alberta, they’re a necessity,” Van Dijken said. “As this carbon tax will stick us with the highest fuel taxes on the prairies, Albertans across the province will be paying hundreds of dollars more every year just to get around.”

The Wildrose MLA said the NDP carbon tax is out of touch with the way of life of many Albertans.

“At first, Premier Notley said concerned Albertans should just ‘change the type of car they drive,’ but this isn’t in touch with reality,” van Dijken said. “Rural residents need a reliable vehicle for all of the adverse weather conditions we face.”

Premier Notley has said monies from the carbon tax will not be used for general revenue, but will be used exclusively for green projects.

Members of Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition apologized over the weekend for comparing the NDP government’s carbon tax to the Ukrainian Holodomor famine of 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5–7.5 million. MLA van Dijken was not one of the nine Wildrose MLAs whose signature appeared on the blog post.

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