With the NDP government clearly committed to directing the majority of carbon tax revenues towards new spending initiatives, on Monday Wildrose will be introducing a series of amendments proposing accountability measures for how the billions of dollars taken from the pockets of Alberta families will be spent, Wildrose Shadow Environment Minister Todd Loewen said.
There are no accountability measures surrounding three quarters of the revenues that will be generated by the carbon tax, and no list detailing where the money will be spent or on what projects.
“Wildrose does not support this NDP carbon tax. It will hurt families and businesses at a time they can least afford it,” Loewen said. “Wildrose MLAs are presenting reasonable, common sense amendments that will protect Albertans from the impact of this carbon tax, or at the very least, provide accountability to taxpayers for how the billions of dollars are spent.”
Highlights of the accountability amendments include:
- If revenue is directed to any new government spending, the government must provide an estimate of greenhouse gas reductions achieved by the initiative and report every six months on progress;
- Every fuel receipt and bill for natural gas must list the full amount of the carbon tax;
- Prevent the multi-billion dollar carbon fund from being used for new initiatives in the 6 months before an election;
- Prevent any dollars going to inter-provincial initiatives unless the province fully supports the National Energy Board’s jurisdiction to decide any conditions on approval of pipelines; and
- Stop the expansion of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund’s mandate to include undefined ‘education initiatives’ and ‘outreach initiatives’ rather than technological upgrades that bring real emissions reductions to our energy sector.
Currently, the carbon tax is on track to create over $6 billion in new government spending over the next four years. The total spent will be more than is spent on health and education facilities during that period.
“Albertans deserve to know how their money will be spent if the government decides to ram through the carbon tax as it stands today,” Loewen said. “We are talking about billions of dollars in new spending, with no defined benefit for the people of Alberta.”