Carbon tax, oil and gas investment dominate Day 2 of Alberta campaign

NDP pledges more oil and gas processing, UCP slams provincial and federal governments on carbon tax

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley makes a campaign stop in Edmonton on Wednesday March 20, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

Energy policy dominated the Alberta election campaign Wednesday as the New Democrats promised more oil and gas processing in the province and the United Conservatives hammered the provincial and federal governments on carbon taxes.

NDP Leader Rachel Notley began Day 2 of the campaign in Edmonton, where she announced plans to double incentives for petrochemical and upgrading projects over the next decade to $7 billion.

READ MORE: Politicians hitting the road for votes in Alberta election campaign

“If you want an Alberta that is serious about diversifying, serious about acting like an owner, serious about making sure we are less vulnerable to a single resource sold at a single price to a single buyer — then I ask you to re-elect me as your premier,” she said at a fabrication and engineering shop where workers wearing hard hats stood behind her.

The plan — an extension of incentives the government already offers — aims to unlock $75 billion in investment, create 70,000 jobs and significantly increase the amount of petroleum processed in the province by 2030.

United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney — speaking at an ironworks company in Lethbridge and also flanked by workers in hard hats — said he’s not necessarily against the idea of royalty credits.

“But the best way to support … small businesses around here is to get the economic fundamentals right, cut the red tape, get investment confidence back in Alberta instead of picking a handful of winners and losers.”

Kenney reiterated his promise to repeal the NDP’s carbon tax as his government’s first order of business if elected premier on April 16. He said it would save Albertans $1.4 billion annually in “one fell swoop.”

He took aim at NDP suggestions that the carbon tax is revenue neutral and that it’s progressive because of rebates.

“What the NDP has done with their carbon tax cash grab is to punish people for living normal lives in this big, cold, northern, energy- intensive economy. It makes no sense.”

Kenney also said if Ottawa were to impose its own carbon tax on Alberta, his government would fight it in court as some other provinces have done.

Also Wednesday, incumbent Edmonton NDP MLA Sarah Hoffman announced a TV ad attacking Kenney’s record on LGBTQ rights, particularly his role in a campaign to overturn a law extending hospital visitation rights to gay couples during the 1980s AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. Decades-old audio of him discussing that campaign surfaced late last year and Kenney has since said he regrets those remarks.

When asked whether the negative campaigning might sour voters, Hoffman said: ”I believe Jason Kenney’s unfit to be premier of Alberta and that Albertans deserve to know who the real Jason Kenney is.”

Also on Wednesday, Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel announced that a government led by him would provide vouchers and tax credits to help families with kids in daycare or after-school care.

Liberal Leader David Khan promised to reduce class sizes, cap their numbers and boost education funding.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council approves second attempt for downtown cannabis retail shop

Firestone Cannabis submitted a new application after their first was denied in August

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Three young Sylvan Lake residents are asking for lights to be added to the walking trail system to make them safer and less scary at night. Photo by @workinonmyfitness72
Young Sylvan Lake residents ask for lights to be added to walking trails

Three young Sylvan Lake residents appeared before Council recently to present their ask

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Most Read