09/15/2015 02:03 EDT | Updated 09/15/2015 08:59 EDT

Harper: Alberta Government Made Recession Worse By Raising Taxes

VANCOUVER — Premier Rachel Notley of Alberta has exacerbated that province's recession because of her government's decision to raise taxes at a time when oil prices are low, Stephen Harper says.

The Conservative leader preceded his return Tuesday to his hometown of Calgary with an attack on the provincial NDP government.

"We know why there is a recession," Harper said of Alberta while campaigning in British Columbia.

"It's not because the government ran a $2-billion surplus. There's a recession because oil prices have fallen by half and the recession has been made worse because the NDP government came in and followed up by raising taxes on everybody."

Notley, who won a majority government in May, has hiked taxes on large corporations to 12 per cent from 10 per cent and increased personal income taxes for those making more than $125,000 annually.

Harper has occasionally sparred with Notley since the campaign began Aug. 2. In response, she has said Harper needs to accept that Albertans have endorsed her party.

At a stop in North Vancouver, Harper announced plans to provide tax relief for single and widowed seniors.

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