For us, this debate is about whether or not Bill 20 is the best way to go about reducing Alberta’s carbon emissions. In its current form, it is possible that the Bill might achieve a reduction, but it will do so at the expense of Alberta families and businesses. The carbon tax alone will have a profound impact on many Albertans’ ability to make ends meet and on the overall competitiveness of our economy – much more so than the government is willing to admit.
Over the course of the next several days, our caucus will introduce a number of common sense amendments to Bill 20 in an effort to mitigate the unintended consequences it will have on hardworking Albertans while at the same time, achieving meaningful progress toward reducing carbon emissions. The government, and indeed many high-profile NDP supporters across the country, have framed this debate as a choice between the environment and the economy, and that one will need to be sacrificed in service of the other. This is a false choice. We believe that it is possible to take action against climate change without having to gut key sectors of the Alberta economy and the government’s attempts to shame Albertans into accepting Bill 20 as-is demonstrate that they know this legislation simply won’t hold up to scrutiny.
We look forward to the opportunity to debate Bill 20, and to show Albertans that they need not choose between environmental stewardship and economic prosperity. They can have both.