The carbon tax in Alberta was supposed to be in exchange for the Trans Mountain pipeline, Sheila Griffith says
By Diego Flammini
An Alberta rancher is refusing to pay a portion of her heating bill to protest the lack of progress on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.
Sheila Griffith, who raises cattle near Jumping Pound, Alta., won’t pay the carbon tax on her heating bill until the Trans Mountain pipeline is built and Canadian oil is flowing through it.
The federal government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan in May 2018 for $4.5 billion with the intent of expanding the project between Edmonton, Alta. and Burnaby, B.C. Since the government purchased the pipeline, however, it has been tied up in court proceedings and environmental assessments.
Those delays are what influenced Griffith’s decision to take a stand and write a letter to Superior Propane outlining her decision. She also sent the letter to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Trudeau.
Leah Hennel/Postmedia photo
“When I got my propane tank filled in December and I saw that the carbon tax was itemized separately, I decided after talking with friends and colleagues about the tragedy of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the court’s decision, that maybe this was one thing I could personally do to take a stand on the issue,” Griffith told CBC.
The carbon tax on the bill amounted to $101.90. Her next bill will arrive in June.
For Griffith, the refusal to pay the carbon tax is a matter of give and take.
“You made a deal to put the carbon tax in Alberta in exchange for the Trans Mountain pipeline going ahead,” Griffith wrote in her letter, the Calgary Herald reported. “The pipeline has been stalled to the point it may never be a go. Why haven’t you rescinded the carbon tax until the pipeline goes ahead?”
Griffith isn’t expecting others to take the same action, but hopes others will at least speak up about frustrations with the pipeline project, she said.
Trans Mountain pipeline route
Canadian Press photo