Alberta carbon tax ended, though repeal bill hasn't yet passed

The Alberta carbon tax ended Thursday, even before MLAs passed repeal legislation in the province’s legislature.

Though the bill was still in third and final reading Thursday morning, the government started making the change at 12:01 a.m., meaning fuel sellers will not longer be able to collect the tax.

“Today we will liberate Albertans from that tax with the adoption of this bill, our central election commitment,” Premier Jason Kenney said in an hour-long speech in the house.

“Promise made. Promise kept.”

The end of the provincial carbon tax sets the stage for Ottawa to impose its own tax. The press secretary for federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the  government “will move as quickly as possible in order to minimize a gap in coverage.”

The Alberta government hopes to pass the bill Thursday afternoon. Kenney plans to hold a news conference at an Edmonton gas station to demonstrate a drop in the price of a litre of gas.

The Carbon Tax Repeal Act was the first piece of legislation introduced by Kenney and his newly elected United Conservative government.

The tax first came into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, as a key piece of the previous NDP government’s climate leadership plan.

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