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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Ontario and Alberta Budgets Pick Low Hanging Fruit

“Very Poor Timing,” Alberta Trucking Industry Says of New Carbon Tax.

The NDP government announced the levy in its first-ever budget Thursday, describing the carbon tax as a “cost-effective” way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), which contribute to climate change.

“We believe this to be a case of very poor timing,” said AMTA Executive Director Lorraine Card. It’s troubling enough, she said, that her members continue to notice disparity between gasoline and diesel fuel prices. “It’s doubly disappointing to see that diesel will be taxed higher than gasoline,” she added.

In Ontario, the Wynne Liberals plan on bringing a similar carbon tax into play. The difference is, in Ontario, while most politicians are towing the party line on climate change, one of the Ministers has made the misstep of actually stating the new tax is for the money, not so much the environment.

Card also pointed out that Alberta’s transportation industry has a proven track record identifying and promoting technologies and best practices that measurably reduce GHGs. To that end, the AMTA is keeping up its relentless efforts to ensure the transportation industry can implement such technologies, in all jurisdictions, without penalty.

Most recently, for example, the AMTA has been strongly encouraging Alberta Transportation to approve wide base single tires on primary provincial highways. These tires-legal in other jurisdictions-have been shown to cut GHGs by 8.5 tonnes per truck per year.

“We know how effective wide base singles are,” said Card, “so we are very curious to see what the impact of this carbon tax will be.”