Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) won a landslide victory against the liberal New Democratic Party (NDP) Tuesday night. UCP Leader Jason Kenney’s first priority: repeal the province’s carbon tax.
It’s the first time an Albertan government has been toppled after only one term in power, and it’s the third time in the last year conservatives have won a landslide victory on a platform centered around repealing carbon taxes.
“Friends, tonight the silent majority has spoken,” Kenney said in his victory speech. “They have chosen free enterprise values over the politics of resentment.”
Nearly one year ago, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, a conservative, won a landslide election victory promising to repeal the province’s cap-and-trade program and join the legal fight against Canada’s federal carbon tax.
Ford joined Kenney at an anti-carbon tax rally in 2018 — where many attendees reportedly wore blue “MAGA” (Make Alberta Great Again) hats. Ford now has another ally in the legal and political fight against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
Trudeau’s carbon tax went into effect in early April, slapping Canadian provinces with a federal carbon tax in the absence of a provincial carbon price. But Alberta’s election suggests Trudeau’s climate agenda may end up being politically damaging to his government.
“From its very introduction, the carbon tax has been very unpopular in Alberta,” Scott Hennig, president of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said in a statement. “Even dressing it up and trying to bribe taxpayers with rebate cheques didn’t work.”
“Alberta’s premier-elect Jason Kenney recognized this, and committed that Bill 1 would be to scrap the carbon tax. Clearly, it has been a big vote-getter for his party,” Henning said.
Kenney promised to repeal the province’s carbon tax, build stalled pipeline projects and create a “war room” to push back against “foreign-funded special interests” trying to hamper Alberta’s oil and gas-dependent economy.