After being in China to champion Saskatchewan as a trading partner, Premier Scott Moe is back in the province to tackle other issues facing his government.
While meeting with the media Tuesday, Moe answered questions regarding a recent report on the benefits of a carbon tax for Canadian families.
The report from Canadians for Clean Prosperity, a group led by Stephen Harper’s former policy director Mark Cameron, said Canadians would get more back than they would pay if Ottawa introduced carbon dividend cheques and returned the money to households.
According to the report, Saskatchewan residents would pay $467 but would get back $1,567.
“$1,500 is of small solace if we’re losing jobs across the province,” Moe said.
Moe said the report indicated to him the carbon tax was never about reducing emissions and is just a tax on businesses.
“To give dollars back in whatever way has been suggested in this particular study does not take into account carbon leakage and the challenges that we will have in retaining some of the industries that we have here in Saskatchewan,” Moe said.
Moe said the carbon tax is still, as his government has called it since day one, a flawed policy.
“In no way does that indicate that we are not on board with making every effort possible to reduce emissions here in the province,” said Moe, who added the province has consulted with many people to come up with the Prairie Resilience plan.
Premier says relationship with teachers is “strong”
Moe also touched on his government’s current relationship with teachers across the province.
An arbitrator recently awarded Saskatchewan teachers with a new two-year deal with a zero per cent wage increase at the end of the first year and a one per cent increase at the end of the second year.
Saskatchewan Teacher’s Federation (STF) President Patrick Maze has said he wants to see the government help with the teacher shortage in northern areas of the province and also raised concerns about whether Crown Corporation CEOs actually received a wage cut last year.
Moe said he considers the relationship between the government and teachers “strong”.
He said the education minister, Gord Wyant, has been out meeting with teachers across the province and the STF.
Moe said they added the dollars from a 3.5 per cent cut back into the budget and they had continued to bargain in good faith with the teachers.