2018 started with a bit of a thud for Albertans. The provincial government's Carbon Tax jumped by 50 per cent, from $20 to $30 per tonne of CO2 emissions on January 1.
While most gas stations in Drumheller are still selling regular at last week's price of $114.9 per litre, their wholesale cost went up by more than two cents per litre.
Drumheller-Stettler MLA Rick Strankman still can't wrap his head around the government's reasons for imposing the tax in the first place.
"Here in Alberta and Canada generally, they're talking about creating some sort of provincial, if not world leadership by increasing taxes: I've never seen any jurisdictions where economic development has benifitted by increasing taxes," he told 99. 5 Drum FM.
Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman has stated the Trans Mountain Pipeline from the oil sands to BC wouldn't have been approved by Ottawa if Alberta had not agreed to a carbon tax. She also pointed out that rebates to taxpayers will also increase with the latest tax hike.
"The government wants to take in the tax money and recycle it through other developmental purposes and give the money back, but I've never met anybody that's got more money back than what they've actually paid out in Carbon Tax," responded Strankman, who added that Albertans are being unfairly singled out as polluters.
"We don't strive to pollute the atmosphere; we're generally good environmentalists if you look at other jurisdictions around the world," he pointed out. "But we do it voluntarily, not in an undemocratic fashion like the government has brought forward with the Carbon Tax that they never actually even ran on in their electoral platform."
Hoffman responded the NDP was clear during the 2015 campaign that it was going to take leadership on the environment and that it was working on details of a plan.