The new slush fund/budget balancer

The carbon tax plan introduced by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is being debated. Some critics have already called it slush fund.

The new carbon tax plan introduced by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is being debated intensely. Some critics have already called it a slush fund.

On paper, Notley claims it’s an effort to reign in the massive amount of pollution Alberta’s coal-fired power plants generate, likely based on reports from groups such as the Pembina Institute which claims coal power plants cost $300 million in health costs annually just in Alberta. The Pembina Institute is a left-leaning special interest group that traditionally allies itself with the same groups the current NDP government does. Realistically, estimates state the coal industry in the country generates about $5 billion, the vast majority in western Canada.

As an aside, a study found a couple of years ago that SUVs in Ontario actually generate more greenhouse gas every year, for example, than the oil sands in Alberta. But Notley’s carbon tax isn’t about facts, science or realism. This is about politics, public perception and marketing strategy.

Because of a number of Hollywood celebrities who love to get their faces in front of cameras and some environmental lobbyists who, regardless of facts, have their own agenda to keep, the Alberta government is making the first move toward giving the province a “clean energy” reputation. The government gives the impression the coal tax is being brought in to eliminate filthy technology and make Alberta a better place to live and do work. That’s possible.

There’re other possibilities, however. One possibility is that the carbon tax is being brought in to make American celebrities happy and cater to special interest groups like the Pembina Institute. This may help lessen or even eliminate Alberta’s “dirty energy” reputation that has actually been fostered south of the border by celebrities such as Neil Young and U.S. President Barack Obama, who called the oil sands “extraordinarily dirty.” Once the public perception has been changed, the possibility goes, then Alberta pipeline projects to the Gulf of Mexico wouldn’t face as much opposition in the U.S. and truckloads of money will start flowing into Alberta.

Hopefully, that’s exactly what happens.

Critics have also pointed out the carbon tax will likely costs an average family almost $600 more a year. By the way, municipalities and corporations hit by the carbon tax won’t “absorb” it. They’ll pass it on as hikes to you, your neighbour and everyone else in Alberta.

 

Readers love the funnies page

 

Regular readers of the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer may have noticed some regular features aren’t appearing with as much frequency as some would like.

The regular funnies page, complete with cartoons and the very popular seek-a-word, along with the community calendar, have been held back from publication on occasion in order to make room for paid advertisements. The Pipestone Flyer understands how much love readers have for these features.

The community calendar is a free service that the Pipestone Flyer offers to help non-profit and community groups, and the Pipestone Flyer plans to continue this feature, but no guarantee is made that it will or will not run. If groups want to ensure their community event is publicized, paid advertising is available.

The Pipestone Flyer is currently seeking a sponsor for the funnies page, which will help it run with more regularity.

Since both pages are currently printed for free by the Pipestone Flyer, the space they take up will be made available for advertisers when required.

The Pipestone Flyer asks its valued readers to be patient when such decisions have to be made.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read