As details of the federal budget began to pour out of Ottawa, reaction began emerging from provincial governments’ across Canada.
The reaction out of Regina was rather interesting.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was pleased with several aspects of the budget, including a directive to invest more in federal law enforcement.
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“There’s some investment, I think about $80 million, in RCMP training of cadets. We hope to access some of those cadets into the province of Saskatchewan to help us continue to address some of the shortfalls that we’ve had here.”
Moe noted he was pleased with the announcement of funding for the improvement of water infrastructure, as well as child and family care programs for First Nations peoples in Saskatchewan.
However, the big topic of discussion remained the issue of a carbon tax.
Moe said as Finance Minister Bill Morneau was delivering the environmental portion of the budget, one thing in particular struck him.
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“There’s $109 million in this budget that will be provided, essentially, for carbon cops to look at jurisdictions that are not implementing this ill-conceived carbon tax,” he said. “And Saskatchewan will be one of those jurisdictions.
Moe wasn’t the only one who felt that way about the carbon tax.
Saskatoon Conservative MP Kevin Waugh was in Regina on Tuesday afternoon and made his comments on the budget on the front steps of the Saskatchewan Legislature. Waugh says the insistence of the federal government to push the carbon tax on the provinces is unfair to Canadians and he’s glad to see Saskatchewan is still standing firm against it.
“We work hard on innovation and try to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and that’s where this should be going,” he said. “Not taxing everyday Canadians because of it.”
Not signing the Pan-Canadian Climate Change deal could cost the province to lose out on $62 million made available through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.
However, whether they sign the deal or not, Moe said Saskatchewan intends to apply for the funding, as it’s only fair and the money is essential for helping the province stay focused and committed to carbon reduction and achieving its environmental goals.