by Morinville News Staff
United Conservative Leader (UCP) Jason Kenney introduced Private Member’s Bill 202: The Alberta Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act Thursday. The bill would require any increase to the NDP’s carbon tax to put to directly to voters.
Kenney has long been an opponent of the tax which came into effect Jan. 1, 2017 at $20 per tonne of emissions, and increased to $30 per tonne Jan. 1 of this year. Federal rules would see all provinces raising the price of carbon to $50 a tonne by 2022.
Although environmental concerns were a major part of the NDP platform in 2015, Kenney and his party argue that a carbon levy was not specifically mentioned.
“The NDP hid their job-killing carbon tax from voters in the last election. Now they’re hiding from voters their intention to keep raising it,” said UCP Leader Jason Kenney in a release Thursday afternoon on his Private Member Bill. “We’ve been clear that should the United Conservatives form government, our first measure will be the Carbon Tax Repeal Act. Albertans will indeed have a chance to render judgement on the NDP’s carbon tax in spring 2019. But we must also ensure that a future government – even one a decade in the future – does not repeat the NDP’s affront to democracy by implementing a carbon tax without first consulting voters.”
The UCP have said the NDP did not campaign on its carbon tax in the 2015 campaign. The UCP also claim the party’s election platform does not mention ‘carbon tax,’ nor do the fiscal tables account for billions of dollars in tax revenue collected from a carbon tax.
Kenney said as President of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), he successfully advocated for Ralph Klein’s government to pass the Alberta Taxpayer Protection Act, a law requiring a government to hold a referendum before any effort to implement a provincial sales or consumption tax.
“At the time, few were discussing a tax on air, and as such ‘carbon tax’ is not specifically listed in the law,” he said. “Yet as nearly everything Albertans do or consume is linked to carbon, the NDP’s carbon tax at the very least violates the spirit of the law requiring a referendum for a provincial consumption tax. My bill rectifies and clarifies this by specifically adding ‘carbon tax’ to the law,” Kenney said.