The NDP has released some numbers in an effort to put to rest some of the concerns over the new carbon tax.
According to the one-page report, the economy will slow by 0.05 percent, annually, hitting about 0.4 percent by 2022.
Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said what the numbers don’t show is the cost of doing nothing.
“There is no scenario in which the health effects of burning coal contribute to the economy, that’s just simply not true,” explained Phillips. “There is no situation in which continued problems accessing markets, or the continued hit to our international reputation grows our economy, because it simply doesn’t.”
Phillips added the made-in-Alberta plan is better than letting the federal Liberals impose a plan which could cost closer to 0.6 percent by 2022. She said this preliminary data doesn’t include a few things, such as new private sector investment expected in the coming years.
Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre said the government needs to release those numbers.
“Obviously they are doing analysis, because we have this very incomplete document, today,” said MacIntyre. “So the people of Alberta deserve to know the full story here, and this government is covering it up. I can only presume it’s got to be bad news, if it was good news, they’d roll all those reports out to us.”
PC MLA Rick Fraser also called the report “government spin.”
“And ultimately, you know, that’s a slap in the face to Albertans,” said Fraser. “I think, any time you’re going to roll out a plan that’s affects Albertans’ lives, and livelihood, not just today, but many years to come, you should be able to put out the facts of that.” (scb)