​Federal carbon tax coming to Alberta in January: environment minister

Federal environment minister Catherine McKenna speaks at the Collision 2019 conference in Toronto in May. Image: Collision 2019

Ottawa says a federal carbon tax will be imposed on Alberta starting Jan. 1.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says she has written the province to inform it of the decision.

She says 90 per cent of the money collected will go back to Alberta taxpayers in rebates, meaning an average family of four will get $888 returned next year. The remaining 10 per cent will go toward making buildings in the province more energy efficient.

Alberta passed legislation officially repealing its provincial carbon tax last week, after United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney won the April election on a promise to kill it.

“It's unfortunate because Alberta had a made-in-Alberta plan to put a price on pollution and we clearly need Alberta to be part of our national climate plan as Alberta has the highest emissions in the country,” McKenna said in Ottawa.

“We need to move forward to tackle climate change.

“We see the impacts of climate change through extreme weather, including in Alberta where there are forest fires that are burning earlier than ever before, that are burning stronger, and that is having serious impacts on the lives of Albertans as well as on their economy.”

Alberta joins four other provinces — New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan — which have declined to impose their own carbon levys, leaving Ottawa to impose the federal one.

Kenney has said if Ottawa impose its fee, he will join Saskatchewan and Ontario in fighting it in court.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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