Rhetoric heats up as election draws closer
United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney says if he wins the Alberta election, a formal court challenge of the federal carbon tax will be launched by the end of the month.
Kenney, who has already pledged to axe Alberta’s carbon tax, told Canadian Press he would instruct his attorney general to file the challenge in Alberta’s Appeal court no later than April 30.
Kenney says there are constitutional questions surrounding whether Ottawa can even impose the tax, which formally began today in the four provinces that refused to bring in their own tax.
Consumers in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are now paying more for gasoline and heating fuel.
Kenney says there are legal questions over whether Ottawa has the authority to impose such a levy.
He says the constitutional challenge could take years so he’ll also do whatever he can to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defeated in the fall election.
“It is in Alberta’s vital economic interests, for the future of jobs and prosperity in this province, that we not only defeat this tax-hiking NDP government, but that we also defeat their close ally in Ottawa — Justin Trudeau,” Kenney said Monday.
“I, as leader of the United Conservative party, will do everything within our power to ensure that he is not returned as prime minister.”
Meanwhile, Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley took aim at the United Conservative Party’s budget plan, saying it will leave oil in the ground, limit job creation and cost the province $2.2 billion in royalties.
Notley told Canadian Press that Kenney needs to account for lost revenue in his budget platform, since he would cancel the government’s plan to get more oil to market by leasing rail cars.
Kenney has said the $3.7-billion lease deal doesn’t make financial sense.
Notley will get a chance to put her concerns to Kenney directly in the leaders’ debate Thursday.
Her campaign team has confirmed she will join three other party leaders in the televised forum.
Voters go to the polls on April 16.
Notley commented on Kenney’s budget plan Monday while in Calgary on Monday as the election campaign nears its midpoint.
Notley told reporters the rail lease deal will move an additional 120,000 barrels a day.
“Not only will this investment make a $2.2-billion profit for Albertans, it will help get people back to work,” she said.
“It will help us get our production up so we can bring curtailment to an end sooner, and it will do so of course without affecting (rail) shipments of our agricultural goods.”
Since the start of the year, Notley’s government has also mandated production cuts in oil for large producers to reduce a widening gap in prices that threatened layoffs or similar drastic industry countermeasures.