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Carbon tax and government debt among key issues discussed at town hall

Posted on March 14, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Brylan Span

The Bow Island Legion was host to a town hall meeting March 5 that included Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Glen Motz, Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter, Bow Island Mayor Gordon Reynolds, and County of 40 Mile Reeve Stacey Barrows. Residents from around the area filled up the building, with many coming with questions ranging from carbon tax to the increase in national debt.

Carbon tax was certainly one of the prominent topics, with Motz emphasising the burden it places on Canadians. “I will guarantee you, that will be a very, very rare number of Canadians who actually will break even or get more back than they’ve paid in.” Motz, echoing sentiments shared by many residents, labelled the carbon tax as a “scam” and pledged to axe it should the government change hands. Innovation over taxing was something that Motz was advocating for, saying “I think that we have current innovators in this country, who will be able to solve some of our emission issues and protect the environment through technology. Taxing does absolutely nothing except defeat a populace that is already struggling to make ends meet.”

Hunter reiterated concerns about the adverse impact of the carbon tax on local industries, citing instances where businesses in neighbouring jurisdictions enjoy competitive advantages due to the absence of such taxes. “Almost every April 1, I get a phone call from (agri-food processors), the owners of these companies, saying ‘why are we up here, you know, all we’re doing is paying more’,” explained Hunter. “Because across the border 100 kilometres, they don’t have a carbon tax.”

While carbon tax and a general feeling of a lack of support for the province from the federal government certainly poses issues for Alberta, Hunter was quick to state that the province would keep on succeeding. “Alberta has been that engine that just keeps on going no matter what they throw at us, and they throw it a whole lot of us from Ottawa,” said Hunter “It seems like they just want to just knock us down.”

The discussion then shifted to the national debt, with attendees expressing apprehension about the country’s ballooning debt under the current government. Motz highlighted the exponential increase in national debt since 2015, stating, “(Trudeau) doubled our national debt, this prime minister has spent more and has raised the national debt more than any other prime minister in the history of our country before him, in 150 some years before him.” Motz assured residents that there is a lot of savings that the Conservatives could make if they were to win the next election, but “that kind of money owed in a national debt, it’s going to take a long time to bring that dollar amount down.”

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