Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Science | By

Sask. Premier reacts to feds' carbon tax easing

Sask. Premier reacts to feds' carbon tax easing

The Liberal government is curtailing its plan to price carbon pollution after hearing concerns from industry officials about how the tax would impact competitiveness.

Ottawa's changes to the carbon tax amount to an admission that the tax will make Canadian companies less competitive - something his government has been saying for the last two years, said Moe.

After private meetings with stakeholders last week, Ottawa proposed lowering how much big polluters and vulnerable firms or those facing stiff foreign competition will have to pay to emit CO2.

Saskatchewan's government filed its latest court challenge against the federal carbon tax on Monday, before reports of the carbon tax scale back first surfaced.

Catherine McKenna sat down with Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips on July 18, the first time since the Progressive Conservatives won a majority government in the spring provincial election.

The federal system goes into effect in January and will affect provinces, such as Ontario and Saskatchewan, that don't meet its standards for carbon pricing.

The province announced in April it would take its carbon tax fight to the province's highest court as a reference case, meaning the court will render an advisory opinion on whether or not Ottawa's plan is constitutional.

"We've seen no backing up on what this is going to cost families across the nation". While Mr. Ford has said he is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Premier and his environment minister have ruled out any use of taxes to do so.

"This is a sensible approach for both the environment and the economy", Mr. Elgie said. Mr. Ford has said that ending cap-and-trade will reduce electrical bills and gasoline prices. The original plan was for emissions to be taxed over the 70 per cent benchmark.

Taxing above 10 to 20 per cent would hurt a company's ability to innovate and find a viable solution, Elgie said.

The draft regulations finalizing the industrial component of Canada's carbon pricing scheme are also expected this fall, with the final regulations not expected until the summer of 2019.

He reiterated that Ottawa's carbon tax policy is flawed and won't work in Canada if it hasn't worked around the world.

Contending Ottawa is acting like "big brother", the Saskatchewan government has put forward its written legal argument against a federally-imposed carbon tax.

Industry response on Wednesday to Ottawa's move was muted. "There's still so many things to be determined". Even with the change, Saskatchewan's stance remains the same.

"It seems to be politics driving the policy rather than economics or the environmental outcome", Mr. McMillan said.

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