Calkins not backing down on carbon tax or ‘cash-for-access’ programs

Red Deer-Lacombe MP not impressed with Federal, Provincial government decisions

  • Dec. 15, 2016 2:00 p.m.
Blaine Calkins

Blaine Calkins

BY KALISHA MENDONSA

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins had some words of frustration to share at his recent open house where he welcomed guests to his new constituency office in Blackfalds.

Calkins said he’s been actively working within the House of Commons to engage Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the issue of so-called ‘cash-for-access’ events.

“It is mind-boggling to me in the fact that people are charged $1,500 per person, sometimes with events of 50 to 80 people, and the Liberal government is taking away upwards of $100,000 to $120,000 and people are admitting the are paying these prices to buy access to the government and Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers,” Calkins said.

There has been controversy with the fundraisers but the controversy isn’t new or limited to the Trudeau government.

Events such as these have been seen across governments and state lines, however, Calkins said he will continue to investigate and question the Prime Minister during House of Commons discussions.

“We’ve been going after the cash-for-access program for months now. They’ve had over 80 events, with the PM having been in attendance for at least 16 that we know of. I’ve been holding them to account almost daily in Ottawa during question period,” Calkins said.

“These kinds of things have become an embarrassment to the government, whether we consider the Democratic Reform and how that issue’s being handled or this cash-for-access program. Canadians can see right through what the government is trying to do, and the government is being rightly criticized for it.”

In addition to his role as an ethics critic, Calkins has been talking with members of his constituency to find out what other matters are on their minds. One of the most prevalent is the issue of carbon taxes at both provincial and federal levels.

“In the constituency, I’m hearing about the potential for negative impacts of the carbon tax, especially at a time when Albertans can least afford it and our energy sector can least cope with it,” Calkins said.

He said that most of our everyday conveniences and resources come from rural communities, and that the carbon tax will negatively impact industries such as agriculture, energy and transportation.

“There are no oil wells in downtown Toronto, and we don’t harvest wood in the middle of Calgary. We’re not growing massive quantities of our food here that’s happening in rural communities. When you pass on a carbon tax that covers everything necessary for the quality of life we have, it’s obviously going to come at a great cost and a great impact.”

Calkins added that municipalities, school boards and hospitals will also take a financial hit with higher costs associated to heat and energy.

He said every Albertan will be paying more for the food we eat and for getting anywhere but especially those people who live in rural areas and have to drive tens or hundreds of kilometers for services and recreation.

“It’s just not a helpful policy at all. The claim is that it’s to buy social license for pipeline approvals and then we see pipelines rejected, so it just doesn’t add up,” Calkins said.

His new constituency office is located at #2, 5025 Parkwood Drive.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read