Alberta fuel tax: Whenever a Canadian arrives at a fuel station, he/she has to make sure that they pay a high price for their fuel. The rising fuel prices are becoming a big strain on Canadians’ pocketbooks, but still, they are subjected to hefty fuel taxes.
However, the province of Alberta stands as an exception here. Albertans might not be wrong to consider themselves lucky because, with just one move, Premier Danielle Smith has made the Liberals in Ottawa extremely anxious.
According to media reports, Premier Danielle Smith has announced the Inflation Relief Act and suspended the fuel tax in Alberta. With this, Alberta has once again challenged the Liberal government in Ottawa, which is vehemently pushing for a pan-fuel tax across Canada.
While announcing the relief for Albertans, Smith said, “We are facing a very difficult time as a country and as a province. We have been through a lot together these past three years, but still have many challenges ahead of us,”
She further added, “Tonight, I want to address how our government is going to work together with you and your family to overcome these challenges. Record spending and debt by the federal government in Ottawa are contributing to “the inflation and affordability crisis.”
All in all, the Alberta government will be implementing a series of affordability measures to benefit all Albertans, with additional targeted relief for seniors, the vulnerable, and families.
What are these reforms?
- The government of Alberta will end Ottawa’s ‘alleged’ fuel relief program and suspend the entire fuel tax system for at least the next six months.
- When you file your taxes this spring, the Albertan government will increase all provincial tax rebates.
- Alberta’s government will limit spikes in winter electricity rates while continuing with the current natural gas rebate program.
These are a few measures that Danielle Smith announced in her provincial address yesterday. Make no mistake, for a long haul, Alberta’s Premier has been stressing that the fuel tax needs to be abolished by any means possible.
Even last week, she announced that the Alberta government would “lock in” the fuel tax holiday for Albertans, one day after Nova Scotia Finance Minister Allan MacMaster said he couldn’t remove the provincial fuel tax because the federal government wouldn’t allow it.
By all means, the federal government has made sure that the provinces keep the provincial fuel taxes intact. The reason behind this is pretty clear, firstly, Ottawa doesn’t want a reduction in revenue, and secondly, the federal government does not want anyone to set the mood against the carbon tax.
The federal government starts punishing the provinces if they lower taxes. Several provinces like Nova Scotia still rely heavily on Ottawa as their main source of revenue, which is why their anger against the liberal government cools down so often. But Alberta stands a chance here because it is more economically independent than other provinces.
The Alberta government is also looking at ways to gradually restore healthcare decision-making to local communities and health professionals on the ground and to encourage a stronger culture of innovation and patient care.
Read More: Alberta kicks the World Economic Forum out
The provincial gas tax usually costs people about $15 every time they fill up their vehicle in Alberta, so seeing it suspended is a good thing, If the act is implemented successfully, Albertans would feel a cooldown on their pockets as fuel prices in the province would definitely decrease.
Smith has openly challenged Ottawa with this move which has left the liberal’s mouth agape with incredulity. Let’s wait and watch, how Trudeau responds.