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Carbon tax, oil and gas investment dominate Day 2 of Alberta campaign

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The leader of Alberta’s United Conservatives spent his second day on the campaign trail attacking the NDP government’s carbon tax.

Jason Kenney reiterated his vow to make repealing the tax his government’s first order of business if he is elected premier on April 16.

Speaking at an iron works company in Lethbridge, Kenney said nixing the tax would save Albertans $1.4 billion annually in one fell swoop.

He took aim at NDP claims that the carbon tax is revenue neutral and that it’s progressive because of rebates.

Kenney also says if Ottawa imposes its own carbon tax on Alberta, his government would fight it in court, just like other provinces have done.

He says he would also actively try to defeat the Liberals in this fall’s federal election if they continue to force a carbon tax.

Earlier, Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley kicked off the day of campaigning with a promise to get more value out of the province’s oil and gas products.

The plan, announced the plan at an Edmonton-based fabrication and engineering company, aims to unlock $75 billion in investment, create 70,000 jobs and significantly increase the amount of petroleum processed in-province by 2030.

Notley says that will be achieved — if the NDP are re-elected — by doubling incentives for petrochemical and upgrading projects over the next decade to $7 billion.

Notley says it’s time to act like resource owners once again in Alberta, just like under former Progressive Conservative premier Peter Lougheed in the 1970s and 80s.

“We didn’t get where we are today in Alberta by sitting back and waiting for things to happen,” she said Wednesday.

“The world is changing quickly and Albertans expect their government to look forward, not back. Our plan is to make and ship more of the upgraded products the world needs. This will mean finally getting off the boom and bust roller-coaster after decades of talk.”

Notley is to make stops in Red Deer and Lethbridge and Kenney is to hold a rally in Lethbridge later Wednesday.