EDMONTON — Premier Rachel Notley is dismissing opposition accusations that the NDP's carbon tax bill contains invasive and arbitrary rules on search and seizure.
Notley says the legislation contains rules surrounding search warrants that have long been in place in Alberta and elsewhere across Canada.
This week, Notley's government introduced legislation to give it the power to hike taxes on heating bills and gas at the pumps to fund its new multibillion-dollar carbon levy.
The bill gives the government measures to search vehicles, property and computer hard drives if can show a reasonable cause that it believes the carbon levy rules are not being followed.
Farmers, for example, will be exempt from the gas price hike as long as the discounted gas is restricted to vehicles related to farm activity.
The Wildrose party says Notley's government is now violating the sanctity of property and privacy that it once fought for while in opposition.
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Here are some of the highlights of the Alberta 2016-17 budget. Story here: http://huff.to/1Nr7xhN
Revenue is pegged at $41.4 billion against $51.1 billion in spending. Projected revenue is down, as benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil is expected to average US$42 a barrel. If oil prices drop to $30 a barrel, the government plans to add a $700-million buffer.
Province is amalgamating 26 agencies, boards and commissions to save $33 million. Salaries and supplies for government will be cut by 2 per cent.
The only new tax is a carbon tax, that will cost households earning more than $100,00 a year about $500 annually. The new tax is part of the province's new climate change plan.
The province has created two new tax credits to encourage investment in small- and medium-sized businesses. Small-business tax will be cut to two per cent.
The government says its spending on employment incentives and capital will create about 100,000 jobs in Alberta over the next three years.