Scrap the Edmonton Bag Tax

Author: Kris Sims 2024/02/21

LETHBRIDGE, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the City of Edmonton to scrap its mandatory bag tax.

“Many Albertans are fighting to afford groceries and pay their soaring heating bills right now,” said CTF Alberta Director Kris Sims. “The last thing taxpayers need is to be nickeled-and-dimed with nuisance taxes. Edmonton should look at Calgary’s experience and scrap the bag tax.”

Under Edmonton’s single use item reduction bylaw, businesses must charge customers a minimum 15 cents per paper bag and $1 for a bag that is deemed reusable. Those fees will jump to 25 cents per paper bag and $2 minimum for a reusable bag on July 1 this year.

Calgary has a similar bylaw, but it is the process of being repealed.

Edmonton’s bag tax also applies to paper bags used for delivery and take-out meals and for bags handed out in fast food drive-thru lanes. The policy is detailed in a 13-page report on the City of Edmonton’s website.

The city of Vancouver recently abandoned its paper cup tax due to pushback from residents and businesses.

“It’s better to leave the policing of shopping bags, cups and forks to customers and businesses instead of adding to the bureaucracy at Edmonton City Hall,” said Sims. “City council should focus on keeping Edmonton’s streets safe, clean and repaired and stop creating new problems for taxpayers.“


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