With a federal carbon tax set to go into effect on January 1st, 2020, one expert says those in Grande Prairie will feel a sting at the pumps right off the top.

“The first will be a 4.6 cent a litre increase on January 1st. That gets us to the $20 a tonne objective,” says gassbuddy.com’s Dan McTeague. He says the pain at the pump won’t stop there, either.

“The second will be April 1st when we go to $30 a tonne, that’s an addition 2.21 addition cents a litre plus GST. By April 1st [2020], you’ll pretty much be back to where you were prior to May 30th when the provincial UCP scrapped the carbon tax.”

The news of the federally mandated tax came on Thursday when Environment Minister Cathrine McKenna announced that effective the first day of the new year, Alberta would be joining the list of other provinces which hadn’t mandated its own levy.

McTeague adds the pain felt by consumers at the pump is just the beginning of what he believes is the problem with the federally imposed tax. He says the economy at large is something everyone should be keeping an eye on, as it will have a trickle-down effect.

“Our inability to attract and the loss of investments in the energy sector, our number one economic driver, has lead in large part to why we have such a weak dollar in comparison [to the U.S]. Anybody who thinks this is an isolated regional problem on a controversial issue better think twice because it’s affected their standard of living whether they like it or not.”

Alberta has joined Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick as provinces which currently do not have a provincially mandated carbon levy.