Edmonton

Wildrose launching last ditch effort to change carbon tax bill

The Wildrose plans to introduce motions next week in hopes of putting accountability measures into the implementation of the carbon tax.

Opposition party says carbon tax bad for the economy, plans motions on bill next week

Wildrose house leader Nathan Cooper expects MLAs will sit late into the night next week. (CBC)

The Wildrose is launching a last-ditch effort to reduce the impact of the NDP's carbon tax bill on Albertans. 

The Official Opposition party plans to introduce motions next week in hopes of putting accountability measures into the implementation of the carbon tax.

Wildrose house leader Nathan Cooper said the motions will include accountability measures for how carbon tax revenues are spent as well as how the levy is applied.

"We expect a number of late nights next week," Cooper said.

The Alberta legislature was supposed to wrap up the spring session Thursday, but debate over the bill is extending the session into next week.

Late Thursday afternoon, government MLAs defeated a motion by PC MLA Sandra Jansen that had support of all opposition members.

Jansen's motion proposed the government table a review in the first legislature session of 2019 showing the economic impact of the carbon tax and what effect it had on emissions.

Jansen's amendment also proposed a government committee start reviewing the entire law no later than Jan. 1, 2020, with amendments and changes to regulations submitted within six months.

Jansen said these amendments would make the bill stronger.

"They are common sense," she told the house. "They do absolutely nothing to dilute the bill. That is not their intent, and we think there is no reason why the government and opposition would not be able to support this reasoned look back a year and two years from now."  

Although Jansen's PC caucus colleagues, Wildrose MLAs and Alberta party leader Greg Clark spoke in support, the amendment was shot by NDP MLAs.

Edmonton-South West MLA Thomas Dang implied the bill was great the way it was.

"We're looking at a piece of legislation that's gone through thorough consultation, that's gone through thorough public consultation, and developed by economists and people who really do understand the Alberta economy," he said.

The carbon levy is expected to take effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

now