Brad Wall is adamantly saying no to a carbon tax.
With tens of thousands of signatures on a petition under his arm, the premier of Saskatchewan is in Ottawa Friday for meetings with the prime minister.
Justin Trudeau announced a country-wide carbon price to be implemented in 2018.
In a new video on social media, Wall states, “We’re going to continue to work toward our own efforts on climate change but that will not involve a carbon tax and I will not be signing this agreement today”.
Despite Wall standing alone on this point, it appears he may be gaining an ally.
British Columbia Prime Minister Christy Clark has also told reporters in Ottawa she might not sign on to the carbon tax.
“At the moment, it’s structured that in the west, the energy-producing provinces, we’d be paying double. Citizens would be paying double what they’re paying in Ontario and Quebec,” she said.
“And you can’t have a national carbon tax where the westerners who produce the energy are paying double what the people in central Canada are paying to use the energy, in terms of an additional carbon tax.”
In spite of the disagreement and different positions, Wall insists the meeting will be a productive one.
“It’s a big country with disparate interests in the regions and we know that we are not always going to be on the same page with maybe the province across the country or even next door but we get a lot of work done and I expect that to be the same,” Wall maintained.
While Prime Minister Trudeau may want to focus only on climate change, the premiers want health to be high on the agenda with a health accord still to be reached.
“The federal government is going to at least move on a transitional, a sort of one-year measure to get to a deal and we are hoping that would keep the escalator on finance there while we negotiate a new deal,” Wall explained.
Word from Ottawa is the federal government will provide new money but with strict instructions on how it should be spent.