Dion tax plan destructive: Alberta

Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans is dismissing the federal Liberal's carbon tax announced Thursday as short-sighted and destructive.

Alberta Finance Minister Iris Evans is dismissing the federal Liberals' carbon tax plan announced Thursday as short-sighted and destructive to the province's oil and gas industry.

The plan, unveiled by Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion in Ottawa, would levy $15.4 billion in new taxes on Canadian industries that produce high carbon emissions, and use the proceeds to cut taxes to people facing higher energy costs and other rising prices.

"This particular report tries to target Albertans, blame Albertans and, I think, in a very unfair way," Evans said Thursday.

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'It is no surprise that those industries, which have made record profits and left scarred landscapes and polluted air in their wake, might be upset that they must now take financial responsibility for their actions.'


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She says the tax would be particularly hard on the province's oilsands developments.

"[It could] potentially cripple the industry as well as go after Albertans themselves, go after every single Albertan as being the bad guys because they're using fossil fuels."

Evans says Albertans have limited options when it comes to heating their homes, and maintains they would suffer more than other Canadians from such a carbon tax.

She also argues the economic spinoffs from Alberta's oil and gas industry spread right across the country.

Dion's plan, called Liberal Green Shift, proposes to move away from reliance on fossil fuel and limit the growth of greenhouse gases, while shielding Canadians from cost increases as a result of the change.

Alberta's own climate change plan takes a much more conservative approach. It focuses the government's efforts on new carbon capture technology to store CO2 produced by heavy industrial emitters so that it is not released into the environment.

Critics have condemned the plan because it would not require any significant reduction in emissions until 2020.