EDMONTON, AB: With busing fees increasing across the province, the NDP government should look to scrap its carbon tax or at the very least provide an exemption for schools before the costs of transportation and heating dramatically increase in 2017, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
The total cost of the carbon tax for the Calgary School Board this year will be almost $1 million with a $300,000 increase in transportation costs. Busing fees in Calgary are increasing 12 per cent from $300 to $335 for yellow buses. School divisions across the province are beginning to feel the pinch. Battle River School Divison is expected to see a $100,000 increase from increased transportation and heating costs this year alone, while Parkland County School Division will see a $134,000 increase.
“With so many families suffering from job losses, wage cuts or seeing their hours reduced, these added costs are piling up for school boards and being downloaded onto families. Fees are already going up across the province as everyone prepares to deal with the costs of this new carbon tax,” Wildrose Shadow Education Minister Mark Smith said. “This tax will increase costs across the board for families whether it’s paying for the increased costs directly, higher property taxes or being nickel-and-dimed through higher fees for their kids’ education.”
The NDP government’s carbon tax will cost the average household at least $1,000 per year, as heating and transportation costs increase, along with the impact on the price of consumer goods.
Wildrose presented several amendments to the carbon tax legislation during debate last spring, including putting it to a referendum before implementation and providing an exemption to several sectors who would most acutely feel its impact.
“This is the worst time for families to see costs pile up as they set their budget for the school year,” Smith said. “The NDP should start looking for ways to reduce costs on families instead of making things worse.”