A new federal climate plan is set to boost Alberta’s economy and set a precedent for the rest of the country.
But the province also faces a potential $500 million deficit in the next three years.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s plan is the biggest shakeup of the province’s climate plan in decades, setting the stage for a massive infusion of cash from Alberta’s oil wealth.
The $1.3-billion federal budget is a key part of the plan, which was announced in February.
It was designed to help Alberta deal with rising energy costs as its economy shifts away from fossil fuels.
But not everyone in the province is thrilled about the plan.
Former Alberta premier Alison Redford said in a statement Monday that it “does not do Alberta justice,” and “will do nothing to help our economy.”
She accused the federal government of making “a massive transfer of resources from the provinces to the federal treasury.”
The Alberta government also wants to see its energy sector boost, and said the plan does not go far enough in that regard.
“It’s a very significant increase in resource development, but that doesn’t go far in helping Alberta meet its climate goals,” said spokeswoman Sarah Lattin.
There’s no question that the plan will be a boon to the province, Lattis said.
The province’s greenhouse gas emissions have been falling over the past several years, and the province was on track to hit the 2.5 per cent target by 2020.
A federal climate program is the government’s primary method for meeting climate change targets, and Alberta is expected to see some of the biggest benefits from it, Lettin said.
This is not the first time Alberta has seen a climate program overhaul.
In 2013, then-premier Jason Kenney pushed for a climate change strategy that would have seen the province increase investment in clean energy, and increased the tax credit for clean energy projects.
He didn’t get his wish, and was replaced by Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, who championed a carbon tax.