Moe retains attacking feds over carbon tax throughout Saskatoon go to

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The prime minister says the Justice Department is examining “all options,” including bringing Ottawa back to court.

Author of the article:

Bryn Levy

Publication date:

July 13, 202152 minutes agoRead for 2 minutes Join the conversation In this file photo, Prime Minister Scott Moe speaks to media representatives during a press conference in the Regina Parliament. Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader Post

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The words changed slightly, but the message from Saskatchewan’s Prime Minister Scott Moe was the same: His administration wants to begin implementing its plan to replace the federal carbon tax with a provincial alternative.

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In a prepared statement on Monday, Moe called a federal decision to reject the plan “arbitrarily and politically”. On Tuesday, he called it “arbitrary and problematic” when speaking to a heavy machinery dealer in Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan filed for a state review of its carbon pricing plan in early May after losing a Supreme Court lawsuit against federal tax. According to a letter to the federal government, the province aimed to set up its own system by next spring.

Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson recently told Postmedia that no provincial carbon pricing system – including that of Saskatchewan – will be accepted until at least January 2023, when a stricter national benchmark goes into effect that prescribes minimum standards.

This new scale would likely rule out systems like that of New Brunswick, which inspired the Saskatchewan model. This system uses the revenue from the carbon tax to offset some of the provincial tax levied on gasoline, effectively offing the tax’s impact on consumers at the pump.

Moe said Tuesday that his administration would sit down with Ottawa and discuss a new benchmark in 2023. Meanwhile, he said he didn’t think it was right for the federal government to reject a plan that more than met the current benchmark.

While his government “respects the law of the land” in relation to Ottawa’s power to set a benchmark, he is unsure whether the Supreme Court ruling on the carbon tax gives the Trudeau government a license to reject proposals made by it Meet standards, he said.

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The Liberal government’s decision effectively creates a system in which New Brunswick enjoys privileges Saskatchewan does not have when it comes to designing its own carbon pricing system.

Listed various areas he believed western Canadian provinces were in short supply, such as offsetting funding, Moe said he would hate to see similar double standards creep in on climate policy.

Moe added that he had no regrets about his government’s previous legal challenge and that the provincial Justice Department had been directed to review “all options” in rejecting Saskatchewan’s carbon plan, including another trial.

When asked why he thinks it is necessary to fight for a plan that Ottawa has signaled it will be up for discussion again in less than a year and a half, Moe said he believed the plan his administration was drafting the current plan imposed federal system, and He doesn’t want to waste time getting it in place.

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  1. Saskatchewan's Premier Scott Moe during a COVID-19 press conference in January at the Legislative Building

    Moe promises Made-in-Sask. Climate plan “as soon as possible” following the decision of the Supreme Court on CO2 tax

  2. Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

    Saskatchewan Can’t Replace Federal Carbon Price Through 2023: Minister

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