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Saskatchewan’s premier holds his ground on carbon tax decision

Saskatchewan’s premier holds his ground on carbon tax decision

Scott Moe is willing to go to court with feds over carbon pricing battle

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer

Scott Moe, Saskatchewan’s premier, said the province will not initiate a carbon tax in the foreseeable future. He’s even prepared to go to court with Ottawa over the matter.

Last week, Moe announced that Saskatchewan would not sign the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The plan includes a pricing of carbon, according to a Global News article yesterday.

The province could forgo $62 million in federal funding (over five years) since Saskatchewan missed the Feb. 28 deadline to sign on. Ottawa’s investment is provided through the $1.4-billion Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.

The regulation of renewable and non-renewable resource industries is a provincial matter, Moe said. Ottawa’s responsibilities, in contrast, include ensuring market access and negotiating international trade agreements, according to the article.

“We’re in consultation with our legal team as we move forward,” Moe told Eric Sorensen of Global News on this week’s edition of The West Block.

“If it does end up in court, so be it. We’re prepared to take this (issue down) that avenue if need be.”

Catherine McKenna, the federal environmental minister, is disappointed in Saskatchewan’s decision to opt out of the plan. In the event a province or territory does not develop its own pricing strategy under federal guidelines, the federal plan will apply, according to her office.

Moe argued that Sask. industries like mining, forestry, agriculture and energy are striving for sustainability – without a carbon price, according to the article.

“It is a policy that doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for our province, it doesn’t work for our industry,” Moe said to Sorensen.

“But that in no way says we aren’t totally a willing participant in the conversation around climate change and around a more fulsome carbon conversation.”