News / Edmonton

Progressive Conservative candidate Thomas Lukaszuk calling for an increase to corporate taxes

Progressive Conservative candidate Thomas Lukaszuk is breaking ranks with his party by calling for an increase to corporate taxes.

Lukaszuk, who once challenged Jim Prentice for the Tory leadership, said he heard from residents while door-knocking that they want corporations to pay more.

“They don’t want draconian taxes, like the NDP, but they are asking for a modest contribution.”

Lukaszuk said residents also want to be sure when the next election will take place.

“They want truly fixed election dates and I will speak up for them.”

Party leader Jim Prentice reversed one of his other budget decisions Tuesday, pledging to restore the charity tax credit that was reduced in the spring budget.

Lukaszuk said that's proof to him the premier has an open mind.

“It shows me that the premier is not only hearing, but he is listening and willing to make changes,” said Lukaszuk.

Prentice has said repeatedly on the campaign trail that increasing corporate taxes would cost jobs, estimating even a one per cent increases would see 9,000 fewer people working.

Prentice was unavailable, but his spokesperson Mike Storeshaw said he welcomed differing views.

“I can tell you from the party's perspective, every member of a PC caucus is encouraged to bring their own and other views forward to caucus,” said Storeshaw.

Lukaszuk said he doesn’t fear any retribution from his caucus colleagues, because ultimately he is just doing his job.

“My number one job as an MLA is to represent my constituent’s views to government, not government’s views to my constituents.”

Lukaszuk said his party has always allowed him to speak his mind.

“One of the beautiful things about the PC party is it allows me to be as outspoken as I need to be,” he said.

Lukaszuk who only narrowly won his seat in 2004 said he has learned to value every vote.

“That was one of the most humbling experiences as an elected official that you can ever have and every time I go into an election I know I have to earn those votes from scratch.”

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