Going into the First Ministers Scott Moe’s fight against the carbon tax has once again been brought to the national table.
The Premier of Saskatchewan, along with those from across Canada, were in Montreal attending the First Ministers Meeting.
From the moment he took the podium Friday afternoon, it was clear Moe wasn’t pleased by the federal position on the federal carbon tax.
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“Some provinces may have to do more to ensure that in the case that some provinces may not be able to achieve that (emissions reduction targets),” he said.
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Moe called this a moving of the goalposts, a position echoed later Friday during the Press Conference of Ontario Premier, Doug Ford. Ford also accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of creating uncertainty in the Canadian economy.
“This is not what we agreed to do in the Vancouver Declaration from the Province of Saskatchewan’s perspective,” said Moe. “What we agreed to do is doing what we could in our province in emissions reductions, in carbon sequestration to ensure that we can contribute to Canada achieving their commitments that were laid out in the Paris Accord.”
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded later, noting the position of his government on this matter hasn’t changed.
“I believe that we need to put a price on pollution and help Canadians through this change and build a better future with both good jobs and a protective environment for future generations.”
As it regards to moving the goalposts, it’s not something Trudeau accepts.
“If anyone is moving the goalposts, it’s Premier Ford.”
Commitments made to work with provinces to ensure regulatory certainty on Bill C-69
The meeting also saw headway made on Bill C-69.
The bill, which re-writes the rules for environmental assessments of energy projects, doesn’t offer regulatory certainty in it’s current form, said Moe.
Saskatchewan, Alberta, as well as industry, have presented amendments that haven’t been included yet, which Moe acknowledged gave him pause coming into this meeting.
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“We had some commitments by the Prime Minister, by Catherine McKenna that they will work with the provinces to that certainty and we look forward to doing just that.”
The Premier added Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre will travel to Ottawa in the new year to lay out exactly what Saskatchewan wants to see in the bill.
Talk regarding the energy sector and the bill has grown stronger in the recent times, most recently with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announcing a temporary curtailment of the province’s oil production in an attempt to get a better price for crude. In Saskatchewan, a program was announced, which at it’s max, would support $375 million in new investment over the next five years.