One of the most common complaints you hear about our political process is that the parties are too similar, and that once elected, politicians will continue doing things the same way.
This provincial election, you can throw that notion right out the window.
On a host of issues, from jobs and the economy, to property rights, to the NDP’s much-maligned Bill 6, the NDP and the United Conservatives are polar opposites. There is no better example than the debate over the carbon tax.
The NDP want to increase the carbon tax from $30/tonne to $50 per tonne (a 67 per cent increase). The NDP carbon tax currently costs Alberta’s families and employers about $1.4 Billion per year, and will be increased to $2.5 Billion per year if the NDP are re-elected.
While the NDP did not include a single mention of the carbon tax in their 2015 election platform, Rachel Notley steadfastly refuses to back away from this policy.
First she told Albertans it would be revenue neutral (it’s not). Then she argued that no carbon tax revenue would be spent outside Alberta (some is). Then she claimed 100 per cent of the revenue would go to climate change initiatives (but her own budget says otherwise). Then she claimed that the majority of Albertans support it (polling proves otherwise).
Perhaps most importantly, she repeatedly claimed it would create “social license” to get new pipelines built. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apologists in the Alberta Party have seconded this notion, although all evidence points to the contrary. Since the NDP came to power, two pipeline projects have been scrapped, two more are hopelessly delayed, and zero environmental activists have changed their position regarding pipelines.
The United Conservatives, on the other hand, have vowed to scrap the carbon tax immediately with Bill 1: The Carbon Tax Repeal Act. According to economists, this will create 6,000 jobs, and increase Alberta’s real GDP by $1.27 Billion.
Under the UCP plan, scrapping the carbon tax will save a single Albertan $286 dollars every year, while a single mom with one or two children will save $405 every year. About 70 per cent of Alberta families (those earning between $60,000 and $120,000) will save between $25 and $1,150. Meanwhile, the average small or medium-sized business will save $4,500 annually.
The choice is pretty clear: With the NDP (and Alberta Party) you get a higher carbon tax. With the United Conservatives you get no carbon tax.
Choices don’t get much clearer than this.
Jason Nixon is the United Conservative Candidate for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre. Authorized by the United Conservative Party 1-888-465-2660.