By Lethbridge Herald on November 22, 2023.
The UCP government has expressed its concern and disagreement regarding the changes the federal government has announced to temporarily removing its carbon tax on home heating oil.
As reported in a statement to Postmedia, Treasury Board and Finance Minister Nate Horner called on the federal government to make carbon tax exemptions for all fuel types.
“I am happy for Canadians in Atlantic Canada for the break they will be receiving from carbon tax on home heating oil, but I am extremely disappointed that Canadians in Alberta, Saskatchewan and other provinces who heat their homes with natural gas have been neglected,” Horner wrote.
“The federal government needs to step up and cancel the carbon tax or make this exception for every province and every fuel type.”
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre on accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of creating “two classes” of Canadians by carving out a carbon tax exemption for people who use home heating oil while requiring households using other fuels to pay the levy.
There is now a debate expected in the House of Commons, introduced by the Conservative Party with support from the NDP asking for similar carve outs on the carbon tax and widening the exemptions to other types of home heating across the country.
The UCP government feels that the Liberal government’s program on heating oil is unfair and inequitable to many Canadians and has a stark parallel to the UCP’s program of electricity rebates where $500 per household was given to Albertan homeowners, small businesses and farms ending in June 2023. While most Albertan homeowners received this rebate from their electricity providers, thousands of condominium owners and tenants in multifamily buildings did not, and still have not received this affordability measure.
Many condominium stakeholders’ groups met with three successive UCP cabinet ministers and several senior staff members to try and get the provincial government to address this issue during the last year and a half and a petition asking for inclusion in this program was presented with over 1000 signatures was presented in the legislature on the last day of the last session. All of this was to no avail.
I can’t help that feel that with all the rhetoric being thrown around ‘affordability’ and different levels of government responsibility that this is there can’t be a more important time for the UCP government to be getting its own affordability house in order before spending so much time playing the victim to another level of government’s inequitable treatment of taxpayers.
I hope to see some resolution to this issue in this legislative session.