Premier Brad Wall is willing to go to battle against a carbon tax.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $10 per tonne price on carbon in 2018 growing to $50 per tonne by 2022.
Wall spoke against the federally imposed plan on Friday.
He said he doesn’t believe Ottawa has done its homework on the file.
“How can you announce a major tax like this, that we know will have an impact on jobs, that we know will cost Canadians a lot of money in their household budgets, eventually someone is paying, how can you do this without an economic assessment?” Wall said.
“I don’t understand how the federal government cannot have done a significant impact assessment on what this will do to our economy and the household budgets of Canadians.”
Wall insisted he wants to present alternatives to reduce carbon emissions, something he believed was happening in the Environment Ministers’ meeting that was happening exactly when Trudeau announced the plan.
The premier alluded to a paper from the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce claiming a technological approach is the one that works.
“Look at the B.C. emissions. From 2010 to now they have gone up. They are higher now than they were in 2010,” Wall said.
B.C. is one of the provinces that has introduced a carbon tax.
Wall promised to release the white paper done by the Chamber.
He stuck to his guns that a carbon tax will negatively impact Saskatchewan.
“In southeast Saskatchewan we compete with North Dakota for drilling rigs and investment. North Dakota is never going to a have a $50 per tonne carbon tax, I don’t care who is president,” he said.
Officials with the provincial Ministry of Justice are looking into the possibility of mounting a legal challenge.
The provincial NDP has found some common ground with the government on this file.
“I’m not happy at all about a federal government imposing a plan on Saskatchewan. Not engaging the provinces, not engaging our province,” interim leader Trent Wotherspoon told reporters Friday.
But that is where the agreement ends.
Wotherspoon doesn’t believe the premier has any credibility to challenge a carbon tax. He argued Wall’s government has done nothing to address climate change.
“$1.5 billion dollars for a tiny little bit of power within our power supply is no solution to climate change.”
The NDP agrees, in principle, with the idea of a carbon tax but doesn’t feel Ottawa is being fair in imposing it unilaterally.
Canada accounts for 1.6 per cent of world-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Of that, Saskatchewan accounts for ten per cent.
The latest numbers from Environment Canada show Saskatchewan releases 75.5 million tonnes of GHG emissions.