Alberta Minute: Government Overreach, Oil Tariffs, and a 50% Carbon Tax Hike
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- MLAs will return to the Legislature on Tuesday to debate new legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's unclear at this stage whether any other Bills on the order paper will also proceed.
- If other bills do proceed, Bill 1 (Critical Infrastructure Defence Act), Bill 2 (Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Amendment Act), Bill 3 (Mobile Home Sites Tenancies Amendment Act), and Bill 4 (Fiscal Planning and Transparency (Fixed Budget Period) Amendment Act) are all scheduled to receive their second reading.
- The federal government is proceeding with their plan to raise the federal carbon tax by 50% on April 1st. When asked whether now was a good time to be increasing taxes on the public, the Prime Minister once again claimed that the carbon tax will put money into people's pockets. What an April Fools joke.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The federal government announced an outrageous plan to give themselves unilateral power to make changes to government spending, to raise taxes, and to implement all sorts of measures *without Parliamentary approval* until 2022!. In the end, after significant pushback from a number of sources (including ourselves) they removed the clause that permitted unlimited spending, and shortened the time it will apply for from 18 months to about 6 months, but the bill that ultimately passed is still very concerning.
The provincial government introduced further restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19. Public gatherings in Alberta are now being restricted to 15 people or fewer and a wide range of non-essential businesses — from clothing stores to hair salons — have been forced to close. Businesses might be able to survive a few weeks of this, but not months.
- Premier Kenney floated a new idea to attempt to combat low oil prices - a North America only oil market, which would include tariffs on foreign oil imported into North America. It remains to be seen whether the US would be interested in such a plan, and the federal government in Ottawa has remained almost completely silent on the damage being done to Alberta's oil and gas industry.
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