EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has declared for weeks that a provincial sales tax is off the table, but now says it’s up for discussion.
Prentice says he doesn’t personally favour a sales tax, but he is open to all options given the state of the provincial economy due to plunging oil prices.
Those prices have dropped to less than US$50 a barrel, which siphons billions of dollars out of Alberta’s coffers.
Prentice says government members will soon be fanning out to get ideas from Albertans on how to reduce the impact of oil-price swings.
He also notes that Alberta’s public servants are among the highest paid in Canada and will need to pitch in to get Alberta through tough times.
The premier didn’t elaborate on that, but NDP finance critic Brian Mason says if that means wage cuts, the premier will have a fight on his hands.