Alberta’s consumer carbon tax is now officially gone.
Legislature members voted Tuesday night to pass the bill that repeals the tax, and it was signed into law by Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell.
The tax first came into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. The province stopped charging it last week, and the federal government announced it will soon replace the fee with its own carbon levy.
The provincial carbon tax, implemented by the former NDP government, added a surcharge to gasoline at the pumps and on fossil-fuelled home heating.
The Carbon Tax Repeal Act was the first piece of legislation introduced by Premier Jason Kenney and his newly elected United Conservative government.
Kenney won the April election on a promise to kill the tax, saying it hasn’t helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions and took money out of the pockets of working families.
Kenney’s government will continue with a tax on large industrial greenhouse gas emitters, and has promised to challenge the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax in court if Ottawa imposes it.
Ending the tax opens the door to Ottawa imposing its tax, as it has done with four other provinces that wouldn’t bring in their own carbon pricing: Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in Edmonton last month, wouldn’t say if his government would immediately charge the federal tax if Alberta ditched its own, but stressed no province will be exempt.