Entrepreneurs want government to be open about the cost and benefits of all major new policies including the carbon tax and phasing out of coal electricity
CALGARY – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) today released new survey data that reveals near unanimous agreement among Alberta’s entrepreneurs that government environmental policies must be accompanied by goals, measurements, and full public disclosure of a cost-benefit analysis. This survey comes on the heels of a brief government statement outlining partial impacts of the Climate Leadership Plan.
Business owners across Alberta were asked to what extent do they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements:
- 99 per cent agreed there should be strong evidence that any environmental policy has environmental benefits before it is implemented (92 per cent strongly agree, 7 per cent somewhat agree, no respondents disagreed, and 1 per cent said they didn’t know)
- 99 per cent agreed any environmental policy should have clearly stated goals that can be measured and reported regularly to evaluate success (88 per cent strongly agreed, 11 per cent somewhat agreed, 1 per cent somewhat disagreed, no respondents strongly disagreed or said they didn’t know)
- 99 per cent agree that before implementing and operating a carbon pricing mechanism, the details about the costs and (potential) benefits should be disclosed publicly (91 per cent strongly agreed, 8 per cent somewhat agreed, 1 per cent strongly disagreed, and no respondents either somewhat disagreed or said they didn’t know)
“Business owners want the government to do its homework before implementing new environmental policies, like the multi-billion dollar carbon tax. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the Premier and cabinet ram through policies related to the environment and the economy, without conducting and publicly releasing the full analysis,” said Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director.
“It’s time to take the cloak of secrecy off the carbon tax analysis. It may be uncomfortable for this government to disclose how many more jobs will be lost, but Albertans deserve to know. Cryptic statements devoid of detail confirm this is a risky experiment and we’re flying blind,” concluded Ruddy.
The CFIB survey was a controlled-access, web-based survey of 865 respondents conducted from July 21 to August 29, 2016.
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in Alberta