Slave Lake, AB (February 28, 2019): Today, in response to allegations made by the NDP government, UCP Lesser Slave Lake candidate Pat Rehn released information proving a local business in his riding is paying around $500,000 annually to cover the cost of the NDP carbon tax.
Rehn initially brought the massive carbon tax bill to light in a local newspaper interview. On Wednesday, however, Rehn was attacked on social media by a senior NDP government official who implied Rehn was misleading about the bill.
In response, Vanderwell Contractors – owner of one of the largest sawmills in the riding and the business in question – supplied billing information showing that the company paid a whopping $488,207.10 to cover its carbon tax bills for diesel, gasoline and natural gas for the 2017-18 fiscal year. In addition to that bill, the company also paid over $200,000 in carbon tax bills for its log-haul costs on the year.
“I’m glad the NDP gave me this opportunity to highlight the massive carbon tax bills being imposed on some of my riding’s largest employers,” Rehn said. “Price-taking businesses like this sawmill have to absorb tax increases like the NDP carbon tax, preventing them from growing and creating jobs. This whopper of a bill is a prime example of why the NDP carbon tax needs to be scrapped as soon as possible.”
Rehn called on the NDP government to call the election if it has nothing better to do than attack UCP candidates with misleading claims.
“I ask how it is that a taxpayer-paid employee of my NDP rival tweeted no less than seven partisan attacks on me during the work day. These attacks were clearly not related to the Minister’s duties regarding Children’s Services nor the Status of Women. The Minister should clarify whether government staff have been instructed to work on her re-election campaign during business hours when partisan activity is prohibited.”
Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd. utilizes 550,000-600,000 cubic metres of sawlogs every year.
The $488,207.10 in carbon tax costs on fuel cited above are direct on-site carbon tax costs for fuel related to mobile equipment on-site and the consumption of natural gas to run dry kilns that dry the lumber.
The company also runs its own trucking fleet to transport residual products to other facilities in the area, such as chips to pulp mills and hog fuel to biomass power plants.
An additional $200,000+ in carbon tax costs come from the cost of transporting logs to the sawmill.
The costs associated with forest management, harvesting and the hauling of logs accounts for more than 60 per cent of the total cost for the facility.
50 per cent of the costs of getting the logs to the sawmill are associated with the transportation of those logs.
A carbon tax of 5 cents per litre on diesel, for instance, equals 30 cents per cubic metre of additional costs associated with the transportation of the logs to the mill and an additional 12 cents per cubic metre associated with the harvesting of the logs.
This brings the total cost impact of the carbon tax to approximately 52 cents per cubic metre of logs consumed by the mill.