Alberta’s Premier to axe the provincial carbon tax May 30

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced that the Carbon Tax Repeal Act will be introduced during next week’s legislature sitting to end the carbon tax at the end of the month, saying, “By May 30th there will no longer be an Alberta carbon tax,” at a news conference where he outlined key legislation coming from his new United Conservative government.

The carbon tax was introduced by the former NDP government, which was voted out in April and replaced by a UCP majority government, which campaigned on repealing it. Taxpayers are estimated to save CAD $1.4 billion a year for heating their homes and putting gasoline in their vehicles with its repeal.

The end of the tax would mean the federal government would then impose its own carbon tax on the province, which it has done with four other provinces that wouldn’t bring in their own carbon pricing: Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not say if his government would immediately charge the federal tax if Alberta ditched its own, but stressed that no province will be exempt.

During the election, Premier Kenney promised to file an immediate court challenge on the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax if he won the election, by April 30, however, his Cabinet was not sworn in until that day. In the two weeks since, no challenge has been filed. On Monday, Premier Kenney said the lawsuit has been delayed and may not be filed at all because his government wants to review court decisions in Saskatchewan and Ontario before it decides if it will challenge the federal tax in court. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal recently ruled in a split decision that the federal tax imposed on provinces without a carbon price of their own is constitutional. The Ontario government is waiting for a decision on its court challenge.