An air quality advisory is in effect for the Edmonton region as smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the region.
Larry Wong / POSTMEDIA NETWORK
How appalling and ironic that Jason Kenney finally struck down (for now) Alberta’s carbon tax, as the city is shrouded in an ominous orange grey smoke — the perfect backdrop highlighting his complete disconnect to the reality of climate change.And it won’t just be drought-induced forest fires that will plague Kenney’s archaic plans. Our agricultural community is equally at risk from the drought on our doorstep.Celebrating the end of the carbon tax — widely demonstrated to be effective elsewhere — is simply irresponsible. We will pay far higher costs by ignoring it.Kenney’s smug rejection of the carbon tax will also unwittingly highlight to any prospective shareholders that Alberta is a place of purposefully backward thinking. Progressive companies, let alone progressive citizens, that we hope to recruit will simply go elsewhere.Belligerence and desperate tax cuts won’t bring Big Oil back, risking their brands to align with a closed-minded government reinforcing Alberta’s worst image as an environmental sloth. And how does Kenney think he will pay for the fires as he cuts your tax base to shreds?Wake up Alberta. The 21st century is here and take a hard look at the air you’re breathing!John England, Sherwood ParkComposter’s short life is disgracefulRe. “Composting facility deemed unsafe,” May 30It is a wonder to me why no one is complaining about an 18-year-old building that has fallen into disrepair under the City of Edmonton’s care. In 2002, we were bragging about the state-of-the-art plant only to have it condemned less than 17 years later.The city does not seem to recognize the value of our infrastructure. How disgraceful and irresponsible is it to let this plant slip into disrepair, only to plan for another facility four years down the road. If we cannot build structures to stand for longer than 17 years, we have no business raising taxes to support the city’s poor business practices.Theresa Charron, EdmontonMorton peddles equalization mythRe. “Spending cuts alone not enough to balance books,” Opinion, May 28Ted Morton claims the UCP inherited a “fiscal train wreck” from the NDP. The train had already left the tracks back in 2011 as predicted by Morton’s colleague, Dr. Jack Mintz in his study, “Preserving Prosperity: Challenging Alberta To Save”.This study, done in 2007, predicted that Alberta would be in deficit by 2011 unless the PCs changed their fiscal policies. They didn’t, and in 2011 Alberta began running ever-increasing deficits.Now Kenney is going to fix the deficit by cutting taxes (revenue) and then “because there is no money” he will cut programs (spending). He doesn’t need to do either.Morton says Alberta sends billions to Ottawa each year for equalization payments. What Morton and the UCP would like us to believe is the myth that our oil wealth has been given away to other provinces. Not true. The only “payments” Albertans make to Ottawa are federal personal and corporate taxes.The concept of equalization is embedded in our constitution and Ottawa uses federal tax money to fund that program according to an agreed formula. There are no other payments made to Ottawa related to equalization so what is Morton proposing, that Albertans should not be paying federal taxes?Allan Hayman, EdmontonLetters welcomeWe invite you to write letters to the editor. A maximum of 150 words is preferred. Letters must carry a first and last name, or two initials and a last name, and include an address and daytime telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. We don’t publish letters addressed to others or sent to other publications. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org