Alberta’s new United Conservative Party government introduced a bill to repeal the oil-rich province’s carbon tax, setting up a legal showdown with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over a cornerstone of his environmental policy.
The first bill introduced in the Alberta legislature under Premier Jason Kenney, who was sworn in last month, would repeal the province’s C$30-a-ton carbon tax effective May 30 and implement a variety of measures to wind down the program. Kenney says scrapping the measure amounts to a C$1.4 billion ($1 billion) tax cut that will create 6,000 jobs and save families as much as C$1,150 a year.
The measure sets up a fight with Trudeau by forcing him to impose his own federal tax in the province as required under his nationwide carbon levy plan. Kenney, a former federal cabinet minister, has vowed to join other provinces in challenging the federal program in court.
“We campaigned on scrapping the job-killing carbon tax, and Albertans responded loud and clear,” Kenney said in a statement. “We’re keeping our commitment to eliminate this tax grab to create jobs and put more money back into the pockets of hard-working Albertans.”
However, a current legal challenge to the federal carbon tax suffered a setback earlier this month, when a provincial court in Saskatchewan ruled that the tax is constitutional. Kenney said after that ruling that the decision was “far from the broad victory the federal government sought.”