Hundreds of concerned Albertans gathered in Edmonton and in 12 other cities across the province on Saturday to protest the NDP's carbon tax.

The NDP say the tax is a way to fight climate change and reduce the province's carbon footprint.

On Jan. 1, 2017, gas prices will jump 4.5 cents per litre. Diesel will go up 5.4 cents a litre and natural gas will increase by $1.01 per gigajoule.

And in 2018, more increases are expected.

RALLY

Hundreds gathered in Edmonton and other Alberta communities on Nov. 5 to protest the NDP's carbon tax. (Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC)

In Edmonton, Wildrose leader Brian Jean said this is not the time to implement more taxes.

"We need to make sure that the people of Alberta do not suffer as a result of this carbon tax or another one imposed by the Federal government because the people of Alberta ultimately pay this carbon tax. Nobody else," he said.

"I think it's time for the government to reverse their ideological bend and turn around and make common sense their mantra.

"Right now, common sense would be not to impose a carbon tax, and all these punishing ideological policies that are going to hurt Albertans."

Rallies were also held in:

  • Calgary
  • Brooks
  • Airdrie
  • Grande Prairie
  • Lethbridge
  • Hanna
  • Fort McMurray
  • Camrose
  • Drayton Valley
  • Red Deer
  • Medicine Hat

Melanie Anderson came in from Rochfort Bridge, Alta. for Saturday's rally in the provincial capital.

She said she's barely staying afloat during this recession, and more taxes could put her over the edge.

"They're taking too much, we are in a recession, we're not working. I'm not working as much as I was last year, and now they want more money," said Anderson.

"I'm already turning my heat down, I'm already shutting my lights off, I'm already driving only when I have to drive because of the recession. Now, during a recession, they want to introduce more taxes. Where are we supposed to get this money from?"

rochfort bridge

Melanie Anderson drove to Edmonton from Rochfort Bridge to protest carbon tax. (Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC)

Attendees were asked to sign petitions at the 12 rallies, urging the "Government of Alberta to hold a province-wide plebiscite on the question of whether the people of Alberta support the 'Climate Leadership Implementation Act.'"

Their goal is to submit the petition with over 500,000 signatures.

With files from Canadian Press