Carbon Tax, Trans Mountain Expansion, Trade Skirmishes

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Calgary Foothills

As we enter September, I wanted to provide you with a brief update about the issues on which my legislature colleagues and I have been working.

The Trudeau Liberal Government has announced changes to how much some large companies will have to pay under their new carbon tax. The carbon tax remains unchanged on smaller businesses and families. Their justification for the rollback is that the carbon tax will make these industries less competitive with other jurisdictions.

It would almost be funny to see the Liberals admitting Canada is not immune to basic economics if it weren’t for the over $30 Billion that has already fled Alberta for other jurisdictions since the election of the NDP here. The Liberals know that the carbon tax really is “job killing” and they’ve finally tacitly admitted it.

While the federal government’s intervention to buy Kinder Morgan’s Canadian pipeline assets for $4.5 Billion has been met with cautious optimism, the willingness of private capital to finance the Trans Mountain Expansion project is far from ideal.

The Alberta NDP Government has been saying for years that they expected shovels in the ground by now, yet that has yet to materialize. In fact, Kinder Morgan just announced that construction is delayed another full year, with completion now set for December 2021, and the cost could be $1.9 Billion higher. For taxpayers, this means an additional $9.3 Billion to build the Trans Mountain expansion.

With ongoing trade skirmishes with the USA and now Saudi Arabia, we have an opportunity to displace foreign oil coming into Eastern Canada with Alberta oil. All levels of government must focus on building energy and marketing infrastructure so that Canada can become energy independent and obtain full world prices for our energy exports.

As the back-to-school season begins, I’d like to send my best wishes to all our students for a successful school year!

Prasad Panda