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Alberta puts more pressure on Ottawa to pause carbon pricing on home heating

Alberta’s governing UCP and opposition NDP don’t agree often, but both parties put forth similar motions Tuesday to urge Ottawa to announce more measures to expand energy affordability across the country.

Political pressure continues to mount against the federal government over its recent announcement of a three-year pause of the carbon tax on home heating oil – a move that primarily helps Atlantic Canadians.

“I just want to say it is, in fact, a cold comfort – literally – for Canadians living anywhere else in the country, including in Alberta,” said Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley, discussing Ottawa’s recent carbon tax break.

Notley made the comments Tuesday in the legislature as she introduced a motion to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to extend the carbon tax relief to more home heating.

The NDP’s motion was defeated because the UCP put forth a similar motion.

“It is absolutely unfair and completely unacceptable for the federal government to pick and choose certain provinces and certain types of home heating to exempt from their carbon tax,” said Rebecca Schulz, Alberta’s environment minister.

The UCP’s motion calls on Ottawa to acknowledge the recent carbon pricing pause will create inequities for people who heat their homes with other sources, such as natural gas.

It also urges the federal government to repeal the carbon tax altogether.

The prime minister said Tuesday that his government would not be considering any such pressure from other provinces.

“There will absolutely not be any other carve-outs or suspensions of the price on pollution,” he said.

“This is specifically about ending the use of home heating oil, which is more polluting, more expensive, and impacts low-income Canadians to a greater degree,” Trudeau added.

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