Quebec premier affirms support for carbon price and Saskatchewan court challenge

SASKATOON — Quebec’s premier is clarifying his province’s carbon price isn’t going anywhere, despite its entry into Saskatchewan’s legal challenge of Ottawa’s carbon tax.

Francois Legault and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke at a joint news conference in Saskatoon, as Canada’s premiers gathered at The Council of the Federation’s annual meeting.

Quebec recently joined as an intervener in Saskatchewan’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada after Saskatchewan lost a constitutional challenge of the federal carbon tax.

Legault says Quebec won’t change its cap-and-trade system, which charges a price on carbon.

He says Quebec is simply joining Saskatchewan’s fight to contest Ottawa’s jurisdiction over the province’s ability to choose how it should reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Moe and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who is also fighting the carbon tax in court, have welcomed Quebec into the legal challenge.

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King has said his province is intervening in Saskatchewan’s appeal to ensure it has a chance to speak on the issue, although it may be in support of the federal tax.

Legault and Moe also reiterated their opposing views on pipelines Wednesday. Moe believes moving oil across the country, through Quebec, is necessary to grow the country’s energy sector and create jobs.

Legault said he stands firm in his view. “It’s clear right now that when we talk about this economic corridor we agree about hydro-electricity, about gas, but regarding oil — there’s no social acceptability in Quebec.”

Moe said climate policy and balancing the economy with the environment would also be discussed at the premiers’ meeting Wednesday.

The conference is to wrap up Thursday.


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