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Kenney’s silence on O’Toole’s carbon tax flip-flop hits 40 days

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a close political ally of O’Toole, still hasn’t commented publicly on the U-turn.

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It was 40 days ago Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole shocked the political establishment and flip-flopped on a carbon tax, saying he would campaign on his own version of a similar tax.

And in those 40 days, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a close political ally of O’Toole, still hasn’t commented publicly on the U-turn.

Kenney had several press conferences, but has been asked only once about the issue, a question he dodged.

The Western Standard made repeated inquiries to Kenney’s office about the issue, but hasn’t received a reply.

On April 15, O’Toole tore up his leadership campaign’s signature promise and announced he would be campaigning on a large, re-branded carbon tax in the next federal election.

O’Toole is proposing to charge a $50/tonne carbon tax on everything from gasoline to home heating fuel, and use the money to fund government-controlled savings accounts, which Canadians can use to purchase government-approved, environmentally friendly products.

“We recognize the most efficient way to reduce our emissions is to use pricing mechanisms,” notes his plan. Until this week, Conservatives had labeled “pricing mechanisms” a euphemism for carbon taxes.

O’Toole said under the new Conservative plan, Canadians would pay a carbon tax beginning at $20 per tonne, increasing over time to $50 a tonne. But the Tories promised it would go no higher than that, however, O’Toole promised emphatically there would be no carbon tax at all under his leadership.

When running for party leader, O’Toole signed a Canadian Taxpayers Federation pledge to oppose the federal carbon tax. The pledge said: “I, Erin O’Toole promise that, if elected Prime Minister of Canada, I will: Immediately repeal the Trudeau carbon tax and reject any future national carbon tax or cap-and-trade scheme.”

O’Toole repeated his pledge to fight against any consumer carbon tax repeatedly during the campaign for the Tory top spot.

The O’Toole carbon tax may also leave less money in taxpayers’ pockets than would the Trudeau plan.

Under the Trudeau plan, a portion of the federal carbon tax is rebated to taxpayers to spend as they see fit. Under the O’Toole plan, revenues will go into personalized “green” savings accounts that Canadians could only spend on government-approved environmentally friendly products.

People could then draw on those accounts for “things that help them live a greener life,” the document says. 

“That could mean buying a transit pass or a bicycle, or saving up and putting the money towards a new efficient furnace, energy-efficient windows or even an electric vehicle.”

The Conservative carbon plan calls for the accounts to be managed by a private sector consortium, appointed by the government.

Giving Canadians control of the money is so leaders “won’t be tempted to use the carbon tax revenue to fund … big government plans.”

The government control of the account, however, will severely limit what Canadians can spend their carbon rebates on, like gasoline, groceries, or housing.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Left Coast

    May 25, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Kenny & O’Foole . . . two Ontario boys from the “Progressive” wing of the party.

    Obviously neither have a smidgen of Credibility or Leadership Skills!

  2. Steven Ruthven

    May 25, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    The conservative grass roots voted a carbon tax down, at their meeting & O’Toole ran them the hell over & he wonders why Albertans are declaring no joy O’Toole no joy!

    Jason Kenney isn’t going to make a statement folks. He already has by staying silent on the issue. Remember Jason “the staunch Federalist “ saviour of Canada & a liar 🤥 where it comes to his campaign for Premier of Alberta’.

  3. Bryan

    May 25, 2021 at 11:36 am

    ‘Justin’ Kenney cares as much about Alberta as Erin the Tool or Kenney’s namesake in d’Ottawa, True-dope. Alberta was to be the ‘based for him to become the Prime Mistake of Canada.

    I guess that I should not be surprised because after all, the communists’ goals were to take over first the universities, then the media and then the secondary and public schools. You get the universities first then the new teachers and journalists follow, teaching others exactly what they were taught, thus controlling peoples’ thoughts from cradle to grave. Those goala were accomplished at least 40 years ago and they just had to wait for conservatives in those fields to mostly retire or die off.

    ‘Justin’ Kenney and Erin the Tool are both products of that education system, so it shouldn’t have surprised me that they are socialists, or at least ‘statists’ masquerading as conservatives.

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Kenney says leadership review now would be ‘grossly irresponsible’

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney last night rejected any calls for an immediate leadership review of him as “grossly irresponsible.”

Kenney has been under withering attacks for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Alberta, which led to the “resignation” Tuesday of Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

A UCP caucus meeting is set for Wednesday and Kenney’s leadership is expected to be the main point of discussion.

Dozens of grassroots UCP constituency associations have joined forces to call for an early leadership review of Kenney. The party currently has one scheduled in late 2022, only six months before the next provincial election.

UCP VP of policy Joel Mullan wrote an open letter in the Western Standard Tuesday called for Kenney to go immediately.

When asked at a Tuesday press conference by the Toronto Star about the Mullan letter, Kenney responded there has been opposition to his health care policy “since Day 1.”

“My responsibility is to look at the reality — not wish it away — and take the necessary steps to protect the health care system,” Kenney said.

“Let’s deal with those things at the right time, after this crisis.”

Kenney was asked if the internal turmoil within the UCP was what led to the resignation of Shandro.

“I am focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID, not politics,” Kenney said.

“We have to protect the health care system to prevent needless deaths — we will not allow politics to distract us.”

Kenney said he knew when he brought in the fourth wave of COVID-19 lockdowns last week and flip-flopped on his promise not to bring in vaccine passports there would be internal grumblings.

He said the COVID-19 cabinet committee has had 12 hours of “respectful” meeting time with the full UCP caucus.

Kenney pointed out the People’s Party of Canada, which ran on an anti-vaccination platform, took 8% of the vote in Alberta in the federal election.

“Let me be blunt, those people likely voted for me in the last provincial election,” Kenney said.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Kenney said shuffle was ‘time for a fresh start’

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

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Tyler Shandro wasn’t fired as health minister, he resigned, says Premier Jason Kenney.

Answering questions after Tuesday’s cabinet shuffle, Kenney said he accepted the resignation from Shandro from the health portfolio.

“Tyler’s dedication to the job has never been questioned. He brought his heart to the job,” Kenney said.

“It’s time for a fresh start.”

Kenney denied the shuffle was done to appease critics in the UCP caucus clamouring for action.

“We are focused on getting through the fourth wave of COVID-19, not politics,” said Kenney.

Kenney promoted Labour Minister Jason Copping to health and put Shandro in his old portfolio in labour.

Kenney said bringing in vaccine passports has had a dramatic effect on the number of people getting vaccinated.

A total of 23,000 people were vaccinated on Monday with 78,000 jabs being given out in the last few days.

A total of 81.4% of people have received at least one vaccine with 72.8% having two jabs.

Since they were made available on Sunday, more than two million Albertans printed out their vaccination passports, Kenney said.

He said Alberta Health Services has expanded the number of ICU beds in the province to 337.

Copping said he was honoured to be named health minister in this “pivotal time.”

He said he has three goals: to increase hospital capacities permanently, educate the unvaccinated on why they should get jabs and to prepare the hospital system for any future waves of COVID.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said 29 Albertans had died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19, including people who had been doubled-vaxxed, but included many people who hadn’t received any vaccinations at all.

She said the province had identified 1,500 new cases in the last day from 13,600 tests for an 11.1% positivity rate.

There are 996 people in hospital as of September 21 with COVID, and 222 in ICU.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Jean thinking about Fort Mac by-election run

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mic with a graphic of the riding.

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Former Wildrose leader Brian Jean is musing whether or not to run in a by-election in Fort McMurray.

On Tuesday, Jean posted a picture of himself speaking on a mike with a graphic of the riding behind him.

“There is a byelection coming soon in my old riding in Fort McMurray. Should I run?” he asks Facebook followers.

“Let me know in the comments. Sign up on my webpage for updates.”

The riding was left vacate recently when UCP MLA Laila Goodridge resigned to run for the federal Conservatives. She easily won the riding capturing 67% of the vote.

Jean was the leader of the original Wildrose and was leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2017.

He ran for the leadership of the UCP, but lost the race to Jason Kenney.

Jean has been increasingly slamming Kenney from the sidelines over his handling of numerous issues.

He called on Kenney to resign after his infamous Sky Palace dinner.

Jean, called on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to resign in the wake of the Sky Palace Scandal.

“FOR THE GOOD OF THE UCP, FOR THE GOOD OF ALBERTA, IT IS TIME FOR JASON KENNEY TO RESIGN,” Jean wrote in capital letters on his Facebook page.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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