Member of Legislative Assembly Report
By Tany Yao, MLA of Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo
Much has been said and written about the NDP government’s new $3 billion carbon tax. This tax will hit the typical Alberta family with at least $1,000 in new costs a year, including higher costs for fuel and gas, along with the trickledown effect of costs downloaded onto consumer goods, charities, school boards and municipalities.
Everything from heating a house, to buying groceries, to driving kids to hockey practice will be more expensive.
To clear up some of the confusion, our Official Opposition has compiled a list of what the NDP’s carbon tax will and will not do:
The NDP Carbon Tax will:
Impact all Albertans. The rebate plan is designed to cover only increased natural gas and fuel costs, but ignores increased costs for virtually every consumer product. Even families who receive the maximum rebate could be on the hook for $460 per year
Download taxes. There is no exemption for municipalities or school boards under the carbon tax. As a result, villages, towns and cities face a choice between increasing taxes or cutting services, while school boards face large increases in transportation and heating expenses. No comprehensive economic analysis was completed to measure the full impact.
Hurt the economy. Already burdened with an economy in recession, higher property and business taxes, and a rapidly increasing minimum wage. Main Street small businesses simply cannot afford another expense.
Punish charities. There is no exemption for charities under the carbon tax. Charities rely on fuel and gas to run their vehicles, heat their buildings and take care of our most vulnerable. Food bank usage in Alberta is currently at an all-time high, and affordable housing is in short supply. Increasing expenses for charities that feed the poor and provide heat for the homeless is not acceptable at any time.
The NDP carbon tax will not:
Provide adequate rebates to seniors and low income Albertans. For every dollar the government makes off its carbon tax, only one quarter will go back to Albertans in rebates. Meanwhile, 75 per cent will go to a government-controlled corporate welfare fund.
Be applied equitably. There is a marriage penalty in the rebates, with a married couple not receiving the same credit as two roommates living together.
Buy Alberta ‘social license’. This was proven when the Premier attended the NDP convention in Edmonton, and asked NDP delegates to support pipelines. The next day these same these delegates voted to spend the next two years discussing the Leap Manifesto, a policy document that will effectively kill all energy sector infrastructure and extraction development.
Fulfill a campaign promise. The NDP did not campaign on Notley’s carbon tax.
I hope this gives you a clearer understanding of what Premier Notley’s Carbon Tax will and will not accomplish. Like a provincial sales tax, this carbon tax will burden all Albertans, and elements of this policy are indisputably regressive.
Our Official Opposition believes that during these difficult times, government has no business forcing you to fund corporate welfare schemes. This is not the time for policies that treat Albertans as polluters to be punished, rather than regular folks just trying to make ends meet.
Albertans can count on Wildrose to oppose this carbon tax.
In closing I would like to say how proud I am of our community. The generosity and goodwill shown again and again is so heartwarming. The way our community pulled together as one to assist those in need during the evacuation over the weekend truly showed the resiliency and compassion of my home. Thank you to each and every one of you who opened their homes, to the Emergency Services Department, the volunteers and everyone who took part to show those in despair they were not alone.
THANK YOU, FORT MCMURRAY!
Tany Yao is the Member of Legislative for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. Yao can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 780-790-6014.