Edmonton

Alberta carbon tax ended, though repeal bill hasn't yet passed

The Alberta carbon tax ended Thursday, even though MLAs won't pass repeal legislation in the province's legislature until Monday. 

Federal environment minister set to impose Ottawa's tax on Alberta 'as quickly as possible'

To announce the end of the carbon tax, Premier Jason Kenney is returning Thursday afternoon to the same Edmonton gas station he campaigned at earlier this year. (John Shypitka/CBC )

The Alberta carbon tax ended Thursday, even though MLAs won't pass repeal legislation in the province's legislature until Monday. 

Though the bill hasn't yet passed, the government started making the change at 12:01 a.m., meaning fuel sellers will no longer be able to collect the tax.

"Today we will liberate Albertans from that tax with the adoption of this bill, our central election commitment," Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday in an hour-long speech in the house.

"Promise made. Promise kept."

The end of the provincial carbon tax sets the stage for Ottawa to impose its own tax. The press secretary for federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the government "will move as quickly as possible in order to minimize a gap in coverage."

The house adjourned Thursday afternoon without MLAs voting on third and final reading of Bill 1. They will return to the legislature on Monday. 

On Thursday, the province announced that Kenney would hold an afternoon news conference at an Edmonton gas station to talk about the carbon tax.

Many people commented on the irony of Kenney holding a news conference on killing the carbon tax on a day when Edmonton skies were dark from smoke from the northern Alberta wildfires.

Kenney's office later cancelled the news conference so the premier could receive "an internal, real-time briefing on the status of Alberta's wildfires."

The Carbon Tax Repeal Act was the first piece of legislation introduced by Kenney and his newly elected United Conservative government.

The tax first came into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, as a key piece of the previous NDP government's climate leadership plan.

now