EDMONTON, AB: With a new report from Food Banks Canada showing a staggering increase in food bank use across the province, the NDP government needs to scrap its carbon tax that will make a bad situation worse for charities and food banks, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
The Food Banks Canada report HungerCount shows that almost 80,000 Albertans have accessed a food bank in the past year, an increase of 17.6 per cent from 2015, and a staggering 136.1 per cent increase from 2008. The Calgary Food Bank estimates the carbon tax will add an extra $31,000 in costs when fully implemented in 2018.
“Albertans across our province are going through a tough time because of the economic downturn, and they are relying on charities like the food bank now more than ever,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “To think that the NDP government is going to proceed with putting a carbon tax into place in January when charities on our front lines and Albertans are hurting is just wrong.”
Wildrose called for an exemption for charities from the carbon tax when the legislation was debated in Spring 2016. It was unanimously voted down by NDP members of the house.
“Charities are helping Alberta’s most vulnerable during this difficult time, but they are receiving no relief from the NDP,” Wildrose Shadow Human Services Minister Angela Pitt said. “Unless the NDP takes our advice and cancels the carbon tax, come January 1 charities like the food bank will be paying more to keep the lights on, transport food and heat their facilities, but worst of all, they will have less to spend on the services they provide to our most vulnerable.”