Saskatchewan’s premier is calling the federal government’s recent announcement of changes to carbon tax regulations for the largest industrial emitters a step in the right direction.
But Scott Moe still wants Ottawa to cancel the tax entirely.
“Really, what I’ve encouraged the federal government and the prime minister to do is go the rest of the way: remove this tax you’ve imposed with no mandate,” Moe said Thursday on Gormley.
He said he hoped to see provinces given the power to come up with their own plans to address climate change without being forced to impose a price on carbon emissions.
Moe added that the proposed scaling back wouldn’t apply to Saskatchewan farmers, mining firms or energy operations.
“In no way is this a watering-down of what Canadians are going to pay at the fuel pumps or on their heating bills.”
The Liberals cited concerns around competitiveness when they announced Wednesday that the threshold of emissions at which the largest industries would pay the tax.
Moe said this proved the tax was likely to have a negative effect on all Canadian industries, in light of the Trump administration’s moves to cut corporate taxes and environmental regulation in the U.S.
“We may not like what is happening in other areas of the world, some Canadians may not agree with it. But you need to be aware of it and you need to be able to compete in that world.”
Moe said Saskatchewan’s court case against the carbon tax would continue at the Federal Court of Appeal. With the case possibly headed from there to the Supreme Court, Moe said it was unlikely there would be a decision ahead of the January implementation date for the carbon tax.
With that in mind, he said he hoped Canadians voting in upcoming elections at the provincial and federal levels would choose parties who are against the tax.
“The decision on whether or not this tax moves forward, in my opinion, is going to be right where it should be: in the hands of Canadian voters.”