Canada: Alberta Repeals Its Carbon Tax Legislation

Last Updated: June 19 2019
Article by Chidinma Thompson and Bradon Willms

Most Read Contributor in Canada, July 2019

On June 3, 2019, Alberta's United Conservative Party government passed Bill 1 – An Act to Repeal the Carbon Tax (the Repeal Act). The Repeal Act received royal assent today, and is expected to be proclaimed imminently. Upon coming into force, the Repeal Act repeals the Climate Leadership Act,1 which enabled provincial carbon levies under the former NDP government. As a result of the Repeal Act, fuel purchasers will no longer be charged a provincial levy at the time of sale, and sellers and distributors will no longer be required to remit levies to the provincial government. However, this does not mean that Alberta is free from carbon tax. Alberta will soon become one of the federal backstop provinces. Albertans need to understand the federal carbon tax requirements, compliance methods and potential impacts resulting from the change in carbon regime.

Transitional Provisions and Administration of the Repeal Act

The Climate Leadership Act is repealed retroactively to May 30, 2019, and news reports indicate that the provincial government had already started implementing the changes as at May 30, 2019. For fuel purchased before the repeal date, but not yet taken into possession, no levy is deemed to have been payable at the time of purchase. 2 This effectively allows the purchasers to obtain a refund from the fuel seller. Further, anyone who owned fuel for the purposes of resale as of the repeal date, and who paid a carbon levy when they bought or imported the fuel, may file a report with the Alberta Minister of Energy by no later than June 29, 2019 requesting a refund of the levies paid. 3 This provides a mechanism for sellers to recover levies they paid on unsold fuel which they can no longer pass on to their purchasers.

Ordinarily, any obligations and liabilities that accrued under legislation prior to its repeal remain unaffected by the repeal, pursuant to section 35 of Alberta's Interpretation Act. 4 However, the Repeal Act deals with this by retroactively deeming those obligations to have ended. This ensures that any seller who was required to collect a carbon levy prior to the repeal, and had not done so, is no longer required by law to collect it. 5 The transitional provisions also ensure that notwithstanding the repeal, purchasers who would have been eligible for a refund or credit this year will still remain eligible. 6

Amendments to Other Legislation

The Repeal Act also makes several consequential amendments to other pieces of legislation that had incorporated portions of the Climate Leadership Act. For example, the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act7 is amended so that tax rebates for individuals under the former scheme will only be available up to June for the 2019 tax year, and not for any subsequent months.

Impacts of the Repeal Act on Alberta

Although the Repeal Act eliminates the provincial carbon levy on the importation and purchase of carbon fuels, large emitters of 100,000 tonnes of carbon or more per year are still subject to the carbon pricing regime under the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) 8 made under the Climate Change and Emissions Management Act. 9 Further, no other changes have been made to other parts of Alberta's climate change plan such as the Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act. 10 In addition, the repeal of Alberta's carbon levy has triggered a federal response from the federal Environment Minister, Catherine McKenna indicating that the federal government "will move as quickly as possible in order to minimize a gap in coverage." 11 Alberta will likely soon become a "listed province" under the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA), 12 which was introduced to ensure that a federal carbon tax applied in provinces that did not have equivalent legislation to address Canada's climate change obligations. These are referred to as the federal backstop provinces. Currently, the federal backstop provinces under the GGPPA are Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan.

The Federal Backstop Carbon Regime

We had provided the details of the federal carbon pricing regime in a previous blog . While the federal backstop carbon pricing regime is similar to Alberta's former carbon tax model conceptually, there are differences worthy of note, particularly in terms of the annual price, compliance methods, ability to use compliance credits and their expiry.

For all fuel consumers, sellers and distributors, the key difference to note is that the federal carbon price rises by $10 per year to $50 per tonne in 2022. Given that the CCIR currently meets the federal equivalency test, large emitters may not be significantly affected, if at all, at this time. The complete picture of Alberta's new climate change plan is yet to be unveiled. It is uncertain whether Alberta's carbon price for large emitters under the CCIR will be increased annually to maintain equivalency with the federal regime. Otherwise, there is a likelihood that the federal regime for large emitters (50,000 tonnes or more per year) may also apply as a backstop in Alberta soon.

Footnotes

1 SA 2016, c C-16.9

2 Repeal Act, s. 2(2)

3 Repeal Act, s. 2(3)

4 RSA 2000, c I-8

5 Repeal Act, s. 2(5) (c)

6 Repeal Act, s. 2(5) (d)

7 RSA 2000, c A-30

8 Alta Reg 255/2017

9 SA 2003, c C-16.7

10 SA 2016, c O-7.5

11 Michelle Bellefontaine, "https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-carbon-tax-jason-kenney-ucp-1.5155965Alberta carbon tax ended, though repeal bill hasn't yet passed," CBC News,May 2019

12 SC 2018, c 12, s 186

About BLG

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions