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Environment

Alberta premier Jason Kenney says provincial carbon tax will die May 30

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EDMONTON — Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta’s carbon tax has about two weeks to live.

Kenney says the Carbon Tax Repeal Act is to be introduced during next week’s legislature sitting and will have a proviso to end the tax by the end of the month.

“By May 30th there will no longer be an Alberta carbon tax,” Kenney said Monday at a news conference outlining some of the legislation coming from his new United Conservative government.

An end to the tax brought in by the former NDP government will put an estimated $1.4 billion a year back in the pockets of taxpayers, he said.

The levy is charged on home heating using fossil fuels and on gasoline at the pumps.

Ending the tax would open the door to the federal government imposing its tax, as 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, who was in Edmonton last Friday, wouldn’t say if his government would immediately charge the federal tax if Alberta ditched its own, but stressed that no province will be exempt.

Opposition Leader Rachel Notley said the repeal “sets the stage for a made-in-Ottawa, a made-by-Justin-Trudeau carbon plan to be imposed on Albertans.

“I don’t think it’s wise,” the NDP leader said. “And we will certainly make the case vigorously that it’s not wise.”

Getting rid of the carbon tax was a central policy pillar in Kenney’s successful campaign last month to win the election. He defeated Notley’s party, achieving a strong majority.

Kenney ridiculed the NDP carbon fee as a thinly veiled tax grab that penalizes consumers while having no effect on greenhouse gas emissions. He also held the levy up as a symbol of what he has said was an interventionist NDP government that was stifling economic recovery by imposing additional fees and red tape.

On the campaign trail, Kenney promised to file an immediate court challenge on the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax if he won the election.

He promised to file the court papers by April 30; however, his cabinet was not sworn in until that day. In the two weeks since, no challenge has been filed.

Kenney said Monday the lawsuit has been delayed and may not be filed at all.

He said 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.

“The right thing for us to do is wait and see what the Ontario Appeal court decides,” said Kenney.

“We can take both of those decisions into account as to whether or not to launch our own separate challenge or whether just to support (the) Saskatchewan and Ontario governments in what will be inevitable appeals to the Supreme Court.”

Kenney’s platform promised he would create jobs and move Alberta’s oil- and gas-based economy forward by reducing regulations and cutting taxes.

On Monday he said a bill to cut corporate income tax by one-third will also be rolled out next week.

It is likely to follow Kenney’s plan to reduce the 12 per cent corporate tax by one percentage point on July 1, and then cut it again by one  point in the first days of 2020, 2021 and 2022, to ultimately bring it to eight per cent.

His government also aims to bring in a bill to reduce the current $15 an hour minimum wage for workers 17 and younger.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press


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City of Red Deer

Environmental Master Plan steers Red Deer’s sustainable future

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From The City of Red Deer

City Council adopted an updated version of the Environmental Master Plan, a document which will guide Red Deer’s environmental strategy now and into the future.

The Environmental Master Plan (EMP) was originally released in 2011 and serves as a guide to improve environmental sustainability in Red Deer by setting goals and providing short-, medium- and long-term strategies. The EMP is designed to provide The City and the people of Red Deer with a road map to improved environmental performance. The updated plan outlines clear goals and measurable targets, as well as suggested actions for The City to undertake during implementation.

“The EMP refresh is a higher-level document that was designed to provide a foundation for strategic decision making in the future. We focused on six areas: air, ecology, energy, waste, water and community design, which combined transportation and built environment from the previous plan,” said Nancy Hackett, Environmental Initiatives Supervisor, “Each of the sixareas have specific targets and metrics, but we refined the plan to 20 actions that providebroader direction.”

A variety of public engagement sessions provided key community insight that was used to assess current conditions and determine future focuses and goals for the plan. In addition to sessions with targeted community groups, a Community Engagement Group took part in monthly, in-depth sessions to discuss Red Deer’s focus areas, targets and actions for the future.

Now that the plan has been adopted, City Staff will begin implementation to ensure Red Deercontinues on its’ path of reducing its environmental footprint.

A full version of the EMP is available on the City’s website at reddeer.ca/EMP.

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City of Red Deer

Goulet-Jones says City’s new Environmental Master Plan means higher taxes and an assault on energy sector

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This opinion piece was submitted by Calvin Goblet-Jones

City Council Unanimously Rejects reason by approving a severely flawed Environmental Master Plan.

I honestly can not believe every councillor voted in favour of this document, I am severely disappointed in our Council Today.
Make no mistake, this document deserves to be put through the shredder.  There are a few good elements of the $150,000 document such as strengthening our inner city forests however the document is nothing more than a glimpse into a future of higher taxes, bans and a continued assault on our energy sector by a council who says they support energy.
Of course the document is full of buzzwords and flowery language but this document rejects the benefits of our local energy sector.  Instead of looking towards cheap natural gas as an energy source they look to failed renewable energy projects that you and I will pay heavily for.  The Document wants to limit Red Deers energy consumption, wants to limit your personal fuel consumption, and wants to ban ban ban.  The document wants to ban wood fires, wants to heavily regulate vehicles, and wants to shift all the vehicles the city owns to be electric which will cost taxpayers heavily.
Quickly, take a look at Action 20, they don’t mention a ban outright but they mention open air burning, wood burning and vehicles as part of their “action plan” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to interpret what they mean.

Look at Focus Area 1.2.2.3 where they want to limit consumer energy consumption and how they reject our local cheap, economy supporting fossil fuels.

Shame on Council for Unanimously approving this document.
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july, 2019

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