Information on the Climate Leadership Plan

BY KIM SCHREINER

On May 24th our government announced the implementation of our Climate Leadership Plan. As a resident of Red Deer and as a long-time health care worker, I am excited about the direction that this plan sets for our province.

As anybody who lives and works in Red Deer knows, we have a beautiful City, filled with running and walking trails and many opportunities to get outside and get active. Unfortunately, we also have the distinction of having the worst ambient air quality of any community in Alberta. Since 2009 industrial activity and vehicle emissions have pushed the levels of ozone and fine particulate matter above national standards.

Studies such as ‘A Costly Diagnosis: Subsidizing coal power with Albertans’ health’, released in 2013, establish the connection between air borne pollutants and health problems. Physicians have long called for a reduction in our coal-fired electricity generation as a major source of pollutants.

It is not something we can ignore. As a government, we are committed to phasing out coal-fired electricity generation and of moving our whole economy and environment into a cleaner and more sustainable model. The Climate Leadership Plan does this, and it does it in a way that benefits everyone. The main tool we’re using to move us forward is the carbon levy, a price on pollution.

We know that opposition parties call the carbon levy bad for the economy and a burden on families. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is that the carbon levy will benefit the economy and every family in Alberta. Here’s how:

• The levy is based on a user-pay system. The more you pollute, the more you pay. The less you pollute, the less you pay.

• The levy is attached to the price of carbon-based goods, so no one will pay directly out of pocket.

• Six out of 10 Alberta families will receive a full or partial rebate of the carbon levy. This rebate will be issued before the carbon levy is implemented, so families will receive cash in hand to help offset the costs before the costs come into effect.

• Remaining revenue will be injected directly back into the economy, creating jobs, spurring investment in new technologies, and helping everyone from families to businesses to charities lessen their carbon and pollution footprint, saving them money in the long run and decreasing the amount of pollution in the air that affects everyone.

Up until this plan was announced, Alberta was the only province in Canada without a provincial strategy to improve the energy efficiency of our homes, workplaces and public buildings. That is not leadership. This plan will create a new, lean agency called Energy Efficiency Alberta with a specific goal of helping everyone, including community groups, families, businesses and municipalities reduce their energy costs and their emissions.

I’m proud of the City of Red Deer for the work that it is already undertaking to reduce its emissions. It is expanding public transit options and sourcing 30% of its energy from environmentally friendly providers. I’m also proud of the work being done by local businesses and individuals to move forward and decrease the amount of pollution and carbon they release. Our government is committed to standing side-by-side with the forward-thinking people and businesses of Alberta as we move ahead to build a greener, healthier province and a more diversified sustainable economy.

We know that the world is changing. Climate change and carbon emissions are now on the agenda of international discussions that include every major economy in the world. We want a robust and competitive energy industry in Alberta that is not hampered from reaching more customers and markets because of a poor provincial environmental record.

We are working with industry, environmentalists and Indigenous communities. Together, we will make Alberta a great place to live, economically and environmentally, for generations to come.

Kim Schreiner is the MLA for Red Deer north.

Just Posted

Rebels lose 13th straight against Kamloops

Red Deer hasn’t won on home ice since Oct. 28th, 2017

Kings and Queens sweep Briercrest

RDC basketball is begining to gear up for the ACAC playoffs

WATCH: Setters Place officially opens in advance of the 2019 Canada Games

Red Deer is one step closer to the 2019 Canada Winter Games the opening of Setters Place

City council approves operating budget to a tune of $364 million

The 2.02% hike includes 1% for capital investment and 0.11% for the carbon tax

Province not providing aid to Red Deer for its June storm

Cause of storm wasn’t ‘extraordinary’ according to province

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read