The carbon tax in Alberta came to a standstill last night, leading to a welcome surprise at the pumps for commuters this morning. That's right, Alberta gas prices have already started to drop and now they are much lower than the rest of Canada's.
In a dramatic slide over 24 hours, gas stations in the province dropped their prices from 117 cents per liter to as low as 104.9 cents per liter this morning, making it the lowest in the entire country. These price dives have come despite the fact that United Conservative Party’s (UPC) first bill to scrap the carbon tax having not yet been implemented.
Although it seems like there are hefty savings this morning, the previous tax implemented by the NDP was so great for prices. The Calgary Herald reports that the tax saw the residents of Alberta paying an additional 6.73 cents per litre for gasoline and $1.51 per gigajoule of natural gas in their homes.
That's why the removal of this tax for Albertans was a signature policy for the UCP during the election campaign. The bill to scrap it had its third reading in the house earlier today. While there has already been a significant drop in cost, it is expected that prices could continue to decline even more.
Speaking in the house this morning, United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney criticized the previous government’s tax implementations, saying that the levy had hurt the poor. He celebrated the price drop by adding that his party had been “working since the day of its creation for this moment”.
Dan McTeague, the Senior Petroleum Analyst for Gasbuddy.com, said that with the removal of the carbon tax, the province could easily become the best place to buy gasoline in the whole of Canada. He added, “come Saturday, not only do you have a three-cent decrease because of the carbon tax … we’re going to see an additional four-cent decrease by the looks of it,” says McTeague.
While this sounds like good news for the people of Alberta, Kenney is already preparing for the imposition of carbon tax from elsewhere. Earlier this month, Trudeau made it clear that nowhere in Canada will be “free to pollute” when discussing Alberta’s carbon tax.
During the “likely prospect” of Ottawa imposing its carbon tax on Alberta, Kenney has confirmed he has appointed Attorney General Doug Schweitzer to prepare a constitutional challenge through the Court of Appeal.