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Ottawa – November 23, 2016

On Monday, the Liberal Government announced that by 2030 all coal-fired power plants in Canada will be forced to cease operations. This means that provinces like Alberta will be required to transform the way that electricity is generated as coal is the primary source of electricity in the province. Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Grande Prairie–Mackenzie, expressed concern that these changes by the Liberal Government will cost families in the Peace Country more.

“The Liberals are forcing a one-size-fits-all approach on all Canadians regardless of the cost on families,” Warkentin said. “The Liberals are failing to inform Canadians about the true costs of completely phasing out coal. Combined with the Liberal carbon tax, energy costs will skyrocket and be unaffordable for many Peace Country families and seniors.”

The closure of coal-fired plants would require Alberta to shift to alternative sources of electricity that would cost more. Warkentin has had constituents write to him expressing that any added costs by the federal government will make life more difficult. “Peace Country residents are already struggling to make ends meet. Higher taxes, job losses and higher energy costs will make life unaffordable for many families,” Warkentin said. “Hardworking families in Alberta need a break, not to be broken.”

Warkentin noted that the Prime Minister should heed the lessons learned in Ontario. “We only have to look at what the Liberals did in Ontario. The province is suffering the costly effects of banning coal fired electricity and paying excessive premiums for alternative energy sources,” Warkentin said. When the Liberal Party of Ontario took over in 2003, electricity costs were 4.3 cents per kilowatt hour. Now prices have spiked almost four times that amount, to an excessive 18.0 cents per kilowatt hour during peak hours.

“I am concerned that Justin Trudeau is going down the same road as the Ontario Liberals. Albertans cannot afford their energy bills to quadruple. Peace Country families and seniors should not be forced from their homes,” Warkentin said. “It is time that the Liberals start looking out for the interests of hardworking families instead of proposing risky schemes that will make life in Western Canada more difficult.”

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