According to an internal government document obtained by Wildrose, the NDP carbon tax has created negative economic consequences for fuel retailers who do business near the border, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today (July 19).
According to the brief, “With the imposition of the carbon levy, fuel dealers in Alberta that are close to a Saskatchewan competitor will either have to charge higher prices (resulting in a loss of customers) or keep prices the same (leading to lower profits).”
Wildrose Battle River-Wainwright MLA Wes Taylor asked a question about this kind of carbon leakage earlier this year.
“This is just more evidence of how the NDP carbon tax is eroding Alberta’s competitive advantage and harming local businesses,” Taylor said.
“People are always going to chase a good deal, especially when it comes to fuel, and with the imposition of the carbon tax, all the good prices on gas and diesel are in Saskatchewan. This is unacceptable and the NDP knew about the consequences beforehand. The time is now to scrap the carbon tax and restore some common sense.”
As an MLA representing a border riding, Taylor said he’s dismayed by the way the “Lloydminster Grant” – a government program designed to rebate retailers in Lloydminster but nowhere else for lost business – has been handled.
He pointed to a program introduced by the Government of Saskatchewan that rebated 100 per cent of the differential in fuel taxes to retailers in Onion Lake and Lloydminster, 50 per cent to retailers within 24 kilometres from the border and 25 per cent to retailers beyond 24 kilometres but less than 56 kilometres from the border.
“If the NDP is going to impose a carbon tax it never campaigned on and hurt local businesses, the least it can do is minimize the damage it causes,” Taylor said.
“Border retailers across the province deserve to be supported in the wake of this disastrous carbon tax policy. The NDP should update this program to be more equitable to border communities like Provost, where carbon leakage is occurring at an ever-increasing rate.”
The carbon tax is set to increase by 50 per cent on Jan. 1.