The premier’s mind will not be changed even though the federal government seems determined to sidestep him.
The Trudeau government has released a 236-draft bill to impose its federal carbon tax on provinces that don’t have one. It spells out that any federal revenues raised by a carbon tax can either be returned to the government in the province where the money was raised, given directly to individuals, or divided between the two.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are the two provinces without a carbon tax which could be immediately affected, but that doesn’t seem to worry outgoing premier, Brad Wall.
In an emailed statement released Tuesday, Wall stated that the made-in-Saskatchewan plan revealed at the end of 2017 would address the climate change challenge without a carbon tax.
The statement also threatens legal action against the federal government.
“We continue to believe that the federal proposal to impose a carbon tax backstop on top of provincial climate change plans is a significant overreach by the Government of Canada and is open to a constitutional challenge,” Wall wrote.
“If the Trudeau government does try to impose a carbon tax on Saskatchewan families and business, your Saskatchewan Party government will continue our fight to prevent that from happening, including taking court action if necessary.”
The statement from Wall adds that the justice ministry has begun a review of the draft federal legislation. The Wall government has long maintained that a carbon tax would have a detrimental effect on industries in Saskatchewan such as oil and gas and agriculture.
Under Ottawa’s plan, every province will have a minimum price on carbon of $20 per tonne no later than January 1, 2019, rising by $10 per tonne each year until it hits $50 a tonne in 2022.