ALBERTA – Long before COVID-19, life in Canada was getting more and more expensive. But as we approach the end of 2022, the cost of living continues rising steadily across the country, and many Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. Now the Alberta government is working to help its residents combat inflation and the rising cost of living.
Dubbed the Inflation Relief Statutes Amendment Act, the new Alberta legislation implements tax breaks, rebates, and other aid to make life a little more affordable.
For six months, the plan will provide monthly payments of $100 to seniors, vulnerable people, and families with dependent children under 18 years of age with annual household incomes of less than $180,000.
Some other highlights of the $2.8 billion affordability plan include:
- A suspension of the 13-cent provincial fuel tax on gasoline and diesel from January 1st to June 30, 2023, regardless of oil prices
- Lower tax deductions of Albertans’ paycheques in 2023
- Electricity rebates will be extended for 1.9 million eligible homes, farms and businesses, including a $75 rebate in January and February
“We are facing a very difficult time as a country and as a province,” said Premier Danielle Smith in an address, adding that the past three years have been difficult for many Canadians, but there are many challenges that need to be addressed.
“Too many moms and dads are having to choose between nutritious food for their children and making their rising mortgage payments. Many seniors are choosing between filling their needed prescriptions and fuel for their vehicles,” the premier continued.
“As a province, we can’t solve this inflation crisis on our own, but due to our strong fiscal position and balanced budget we can offer substantial relief so Albertans and their families are able to manage through this storm,” Smith shared, explaining that this is why the province is announcing this financial relief package.
How Do Albertans Feel?
Many people in western Canada have expressed their support of the new legislation.
“Thank you @ABDanielleSmith for being one of the few politicians who leads with passion for the people they govern. Nice to have someone who cares,” tweeted one person.
“This is how a politician really helps everyone, thank you so much the fuel tax is very big for my business, you’re helping my son’s family, you’re helping my retired mother which is having a very hard time getting by, thank you to you and your team for doing your best thank you,” shared another Albertan.
While others question why more support isn’t being provided for single Canadians without kids.
“What about people in Alberta W/o families, who are single income households, aren’t a senior, etc. if they want to deliver help to “all Albertans struggling” my god they missed a good 60% of the population I’m guessing lol,” tweeted one man in Alberta.
“Wait what…….give money away. Seriously $180,000 senior household income each gets 600 bucks but struggling couples with no kids get zero, goose egg, nothing,” said another.
And other skeptics feel as though it just a ploy for more votes in the next election.
“Anyone notice how the Albert inflation relief money runs out right after the next election. Guess she thinks like Doug Ford, just buy the votes. Now the big question will be “Are the people of Alberta just as stupid as the people of Ontario?” asked one man.
Canadians Sound Off on the Inflation Relief Program
The announcement in the western province comes at a time when Ontarians are struggling more than ever before, and many are calling on Doug Ford to do something similar.
“[Smith] is the only Premier who is fighting for her people,” said one woman in response to Smith’s announcement.
“You’ll never see this in Ontario. Too much greed here,” someone else replied.
Let us know in the comments, how do you feel about Alberta’s plan? Would you like to see something similar in Ontario?