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

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

Lacombe’s AFSC ready to help Alberta producers facing difficult times

2019 season not easy for Alberta producers due toweather and other challenges

ROAD CLOSURE: Wolf Creek Drive rail crossing repair in Lacombe

Wolf Creek Drive will be closed from 50 Ave to 52 Ave on Thursday, Nov. 21

Alberta Justice Minister advocates UCP rural crime plan

Expanded property rights, more power to peace officers, demonetizing scrap mental part of UCP plan

VIDEO: Lacombe honours those who fought for freedom

Remembrance Day ceremony welcomes 100s to LMC

New case of vaping-related illness in Quebec brings national total to 8

Quebec health minister considering tightening the rules around vaping products

Greens to vote against Liberal throne speech unless carbon targets toughened: May

Green leader Elizabeth May and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met Friday, discussing common ground

Alberta Opposition asks auditor general to review Kenney adviser’s London trips

The office declined to give details of the meetings, citing corporate confidences

‘Hyperbolic’: Longtime Edmonton charity questions ‘anti-Albertan’ inquiry

Inquiry was called earlier this year to fulfil a campaign promise by Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative

No new rules needed to ensure timely youth justice, Supreme Court says

Charter of Rights and Freedoms says someone charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time

Premier vows to fight for oilpatch as drillers forecast almost no growth in 2020

The CAODC said it expects the Canadian drilling rig fleet to continue to shrink

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh meets Trudeau to discuss throne speech

Top ask was the immediate creation of a national universal Pharmacare program

Most Read