July 19, 2016

The ripple effect of the carbon tax on Alberta's homegrown industries

Paige MacPhersonAlberta CTF Director

(This op-ed was co-written by Paige MacPherson and Robin Speer. Speer is Executive Director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and MacPherson is Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. is the Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. This op-ed was published in the Calgary Herald on July 15, 2016.)

Alberta’s carbon tax will have a stinging effect that will ripple through countless industries across the province, increasing costs every step of the way. Each day, January 2017 inches closer. From individuals and families to charities and schools, from farmers and landscapers to restaurant owners and small brewers – nearly everyone will be impacted.

This is the “new Alberta Advantage,” as Alberta’s finance minister declared it.

In reality, it’s more like a slap in the face to many of Alberta’s industries that will be punished with the tax despite their successful efforts in reducing carbon emissions.

For local restaurants, keeping the heat and lights on, running the kitchen appliances throughout the day, paying increased property taxes as a result of the carbon tax, and purchasing food will all cost more – surely meaning increased costs for customers.

So, you might decide to eat at home.

Sitting on your deck, enjoying your backyard, you wonder how your landscaper buddy is going to simply ‘green’ his lifestyle to avoid the tax. Sure, the one per cent small business tax cut helped, but what is he expected to do? Schlep trees, cement blocks and equipment onto multiple solar-powered buses?

Shaking your head, you turn to your fantastic meal: Alberta steak and potatoes, some veggies and bread from the market, and a craft beer. It all started on the farm.

Take that warm fresh loaf of bread. Alberta growers of grain and oilseeds have been reducing carbon for decades. With modern crop protection products, no-till agriculture, and new cleaner burning engines, growers use less fuel and fewer inputs while producing exceedingly more food. Yet the carbon tax will make producing that grain – and therefore that bread – more expensive.

And most of us love our delicious Alberta beef. Improved pasture management and efficient feeding practices have made our livestock sector stand out for reduced environmental impact. Alberta farmers and ranchers are feeding our families, yet they’re being perversely punished for doing so while actually reducing carbon.

Marked farm fuel was exempted from the government’s carbon tax, but the impact will still be felt. Transporting livestock, grain and other produce by large trucks will become more expensive. Properly caring for livestock in Alberta year-round means spiking heating and electricity costs won’t help.

Even at the literal ground level, the carbon tax will increase costs, potentially even pushing business outside of Alberta to where practices are far less environmentally conscious.

Nitrogen fertilizer is a main source of plant nutrients used for Alberta agriculture. Alberta is a world leader in producing fertilizer, combining our innovative technology with products from the oil and gas sector. Nitrogen production is emissions intense, but it’s essential for growing food. And yet with some of the cleanest and most efficient facilities in the world, nitrogen producers may face unrealistic burdens from the carbon tax, ultimately making them uncompetitive.

If positive environmental results are the desired public policy outcome, years of successful emissions reductions and cleaner production should be rewarded and promoted for export around the world as best practice, rather than being unfairly taxed here at home.

Alberta is home to several breweries, distilleries and malt plants responsible for crafting that beer you’re sipping on. If your brew of choice was from out-of-province, the government has already slapped you with unfair beer taxes. But, the carbon tax will further increase costs from growing grains to distilling spirits – meaning higher prices for consumers. Imposing the carbon tax simply means local producers will be less competitive.  

In Alberta, we have many homegrown industries to be proud of, creating thousands of jobs. And whether it’s a local brewery or distillery, restaurant, landscaper, charity, school, farmer or rancher – and whether they’ve already been innovating to reduce carbon emissions for decades – everyone will be punished by the Alberta carbon tax.

Now go enjoy your tasty Alberta meal before the price goes up!

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commented 2016-07-28 14:48:40 -0400
A carbon tax is not about the environment, it’s a subterfuge used my leftists to raise revenues needed to keep them in power and to implement the Socialist Agenda whereby the state controls the economy and the distribution of wealth.

There is no scientific evidence that human activity is having a significant impact on climate change. If there was we would be seeing nightly TV news reports using graphs showing a direct relationship between climate and increasing levels of carbon dioxide, especially on the CBC.

This relationship will never be shown because it does not exist, not even in the historical record of the planet. No scientist has ever shown a positive correlation between the amount of carbon dioxide existing and climate, because one doesn’t exist. Linking carbon taxes to climate is a leftist money grab and tax scam.
commented 2016-07-19 17:57:29 -0400
I guess a revolution is out of order? Separation? PETA will be shitting their pants once Albertans are forced to kill and eat their pets like Layola’s Venezuela, of course there is a lot of meat on that fat fucks bones. I hope he has an escape plan all ready for when the shit hits the fan. Sharpen your knives
commented 2016-07-19 17:33:57 -0400
Notley should be shot with a ball of her own shit. I have other ideas for Mason and Smiley Phillips.

I would like to see Jason Kenney mud wrestling with Brian Mason. It should be a quick and easy victory for Jason as Mason is a heart attack waiting to happen.

Different story for that smiling chick Phillips. She needs a good bitch slap to wipe that fucking all knowing smile off her face. I would like to see restaurant owners refuse to serve the NDP communist pigs and just plainly tell them to fuck off and die.
commented 2016-07-19 15:57:06 -0400
Paraphrasing Marx and Lenin, “To control the populace you must first control the food.”

The carbon tax is simply a control on necessities fo survival: energy, food, shelter, clothing. However, the Non-Democratic Party can’t even apply socialism competently, because the Soviets ensured vodka was cheap and available to divert the minds of the masses but the Alberta Soviet Socialists are over pricing beer and creating conditions that will reduce quantity.
commented 2016-07-19 15:19:40 -0400
Remember when people joked that the next thing the government will tax is the air we breathe?? No joke now…it is called a carbon tax (or to really fool people, it is called a Carbon Price or Cap and Trade).
commented 2016-07-19 13:43:17 -0400
Natasha keeps saying that if they taxed my methane production the country would be debt free, so I have an idea. If every one of us farted in a zip-lock bag and if occasionally, and by occasionally I mean every time, we dropped a big fat, aromatically enchanting load of human excrement into the bag by mistake, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, and then mailed it to Revenue Canada, we would accomplish three things. First off, we would be doing our civic duty by increasing Canada Post’s bottom line to the point of profitability, secondly we would be enhancing the economy by putting all the refugees and soon to be a flood of Mexican and Central American illegals who head northward because there is only one way to go after Trump builds the wall and Mexican authorities say “No thanks, you took em, you keep em”, to work by opening the bags and separating the shit from the chaff, and yes, I hope that is moderately offensive, and finally, the environmental movement, pun intended, could cry victory in the sense that the shit they feed us is now literally a never ending renewal of our shit that they can use to recycle and offset their carbon tax. Seems pretty simple to me.
You’re welcome, Trudeau, you stupid, dumb shit, problem solved.
commented 2016-07-19 13:04:26 -0400
Reducing the use of fossil fuel is easy. Use more fuel now, the world will warm up and then we won’t need so much fuel for heating.
I’llbet that would sound intelligent to NDPers.
commented 2016-07-19 12:56:15 -0400
As I said before, and I will say it again.

You can’t tax Carbon.

It is in everything and I mean everything that is on this planet. We are carbon based species and every other animal on this planet is carbon based. All plants are carbon based.
To tax carbon, is to tax all life on the planet.

The people that have agreed to this don’t enjoy life, and they are sort of suicidal.
This will not work.
All this is going to do is increase the cost on everything and the average family will start to see they can no longer afford to keep a home or even have children.
commented 2016-07-19 12:51:52 -0400
Tip of the ice burg. Wait Justin has his own carbon tax to pile on. Not one of these taxes will actually reduce emissions. They are strictly for the purpose of wealth distribution. Not to Canada’s poor but to enrich the progressive lefts elites. Wide spread corruption coming to Canada via our communist trending Liberals and NDP pigs. When a political party as in the Notley government hires more Toronto elites than they do from their own province you can be assured the corruption is deeply routed in Ottawa where Canada’s biggest liar and embarrassment is scheming with his mafia team to steal as much fro the public they possibly can. Under Harper we had money in our pockets. Under Trudeau you can be assured every dime will disappear into the abis of Liberal corruption. As a middle class worker I AM NOT BETTER OFF under the dictatorship of Trudeau.