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Alberta Energy Minister Calls the Federal Windfall Tax an ‘Extreme Act of Aggression’

Sonya Savage
Alberta's Minister of Energy Sonya Savage announces expanding coal mining restrictions on the Eastern Slopes of Alberta in Calgary, Friday, March 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

In light of rising living costs, Alberta’s energy minister, Sonya Savage, warns against implementing a “windfall tax” on Canadian oil and gas companies’ profits.

Last month, the U.K. implemented something similar, where oil and gas companies’ profits would be taxed at 25%, with the goal of raising money for cash handouts to help British consumers cope with the fast-rising energy costs.

Similar taxes on energy corporations have been passed in Spain and Italy, and a senior White House advisor was quoted in recent news reports as stating that the Biden administration is actively considering what a windfall tax may look like in the country.

However, Sonya Savage warned Wednesday that a similar plan by Canada would be viewed as an “extreme act of aggression” against provincial constitutional authority.

“If they (Ottawa) were to impose a windfall tax on the profits of the oil and gas sector in Alberta at this time, you will see an unprecedented ‘fire on the prairie’ of regional alienation,” she said.

Even though Trudeau’s government hasn’t suggested a windfall tax on Canada, environmental and nonprofit organizations have asked for one.

“Oil and gas companies must not be allowed to profiteer while people suffer the consequences,” wrote activists in a letter to the federal government in March. “A windfall tax on oil and gas such as the one proposed by the European Commission should redirect revenue to the communities and families most affected by the rising prices.”

On Wednesday, Savage said that while taxing companies is not the answer, the federal government must do something about consumers’ access to affordable energy.

“That is going to be the number one issue on the ballot as we go forward,” she said. “The cost of everything is rising, and if we (politicians) don’t address it, we are going to have another backlash.”

Original source material for this article taken from here

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