Jason Kenney: There will be no carbon tax in Alberta by June
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he will put an end to the provincial carbon tax by the end of June, just hours after Saskatchewan’s constitutional challenge of the levy was rejected by an appellate court.
Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal ruled that the federally-imposed tax – which came into effect on April 1 in provinces without a carbon plan of their own – is constitutional.
Kenney said he still needs to review the Saskatchewan court’s carbon tax ruling, but reiterated his promised to scrap Alberta’s carbon tax that the former NDP government introduced. He also indicated he will bring his fight to Alberta’s highest court if Ottawa tries to impose a national tax on his province.
“We think it’s all economic pain and no environmental gain,” Kenney told BNN Bloomberg’s Greg Bonnell on Friday.
“I’ve always known this was going to go to the Supreme Court of Canada – win, lose or draw at the provincial courts.
"We may or may not launch our own separate reference in Alberta, so we have not yet seen the end of this story. We will continue through with Bill 1 of our new legislature, the Carbon Tax Appeal Act. There will be no carbon tax by the end of June in Alberta.”
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario all became subject to a carbon tax last month. Manitoba recently filed papers in Federal Court for its constitutional challenge, while Ontario was in court last month to argue its case but has yet to receive an outcome on that case. The provinces argue that a carbon tax hurts their economies.
Meanwhile, a report in April from Royal Dutch Shell PLC urged the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers – the country’s largest oil and gas lobby group – to start supporting carbon tax policies in the country.
Kenney slammed the Dutch energy giant on Friday, pointing out that the company endorsed the NDP government’s carbon tax in 2015 but later abandoned their oil sands investments.
“I’m not going to be lectured to by multinationals, multi-trillion-dollar corporations who want to make life more expensive for widows trying to heat their homes, or single moms who are trying to take their kids to school,” Kenney said.
“I think it’s incredibly cynical to see multinational oil companies trying to make life more expensive for ordinary people.”