Rumours abound in Ottawa that the government is about to set a price on carbon emissions.
An article in The Globe and Mail states within the next six months, Ottawa plans to strike a deal with the provinces for a national minimum carbon price of at least $15 per tonne.
But it isn’t expected to be included in the upcoming federal budget.
It is an idea that Premier Brad Wall intends to be very vocal about.
Speaking to reporters at the legislative building, Wall maintains the program is nothing more than a tax that offers no solutions to reducing carbon emissions.
“How about we focus on cleaning up transition energies like coal? How about we focus on new technologies whether they are renewable, perhaps like carbon capture and sequestration, that will actually do something about the problem?”
Based on the suggested price, Saskatchewan officials have worked out it means a three to five cent per litre increase at the gas pump, a hike on power bills and large revenue implications for industries like mining and agriculture.
While acknowledging there is nothing he can do to stop the prime minister from adopting such a program, Wall argues it isn’t what the country needs right now.
“Let’s have public sector and private sector investment in technological solutions so we can actually do something about the problem and not potentially kneecap an economy with a new tax precisely when it doesn’t need a new cap.”
As part of a follow-up to the Paris climate change summit, next month Wall will meet with his counterparts and Justin Trudeau.
He intends to be vocal advocate against a carbon levy during his time with them.
“We could do it in the name of reducing our emissions, but we’re two per cent of global emissions,” he argued. ” Let’s focus on technology that will actually clean up coal-fired generation that is still happening around the world.”
In the past Wall had argued any carbon levy should be applied to heavy emitters that in turn would go to a technology fund to find solutions to reduce carbon emissions.
That idea is now not part of the discussion.