Alberta carbon tax to end May 30 if bill passed by legislature

Premier Jason Kenney says his government’s Bill 1, if passed, will end Alberta’s carbon tax by May 30.

The bill will be introduced in the first session of the 30th Alberta legislature, scheduled to start on May 21.

The carbon tax reduction was a key promise in the United Conservative Party’s campaign platform.

A phased drop in the corporate tax rate from 12 to eight per cent by 2022 was another.

Kenney announced the timeline for that reduction will be part of Bill 3, which will also be introduced next week. The first drop to 11 per cent will take place on July 1. The tax rate will go down to 10 per cent on Jan. 1, 2020. It will decrease by one percentage point at the start of 2021 and again in 2022.

“As of Canada Day, Alberta will have the lowest business tax rate in Canada,” Kenney said Monday at a news conference in Edmonton.

Kenney said the move would make Alberta “a huge magnet” for corporate investment and create 55,000 full-time jobs in the private sector.

He said his government will watch what effect the tax cut is having on the economy and make changes.

“If we think the economy needs additional stimulus, and the fiscal health of the government can sustain it, we would be open to accelerating the last two instalments of the job creation tax cut,” he said.

Kenney is holding off on another promise to file a constitutional challenge against the federal carbon tax.

The premier said the government will review the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruling, which ruled 3-2 in favour of the federal government, and watch the outcome of the Ontario Court of Appeal ruling before proceeding.

Kenney said another option for Alberta would be to support an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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