June 01, 2017

Censored Federal Memo Warns Saskatchewan and Alberta Have Most to Lose Under Ottawa's Forced Carbon Tax

A recently released federal memo is sounding the warning sirens that Ottawa’s plan to force a carbon tax on provinces will be especially hard on Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The censored memo, prepared for the Minister of Natural Resources, says that cost hikes from Ottawa’s forced carbon tax will hit Saskatchewan and Alberta particularly hard because the two provinces have “the greatest proportion of exporting industries that will pay more for carbon emissions…”

“Our government has been clear about the negative impacts a carbon tax would have on our province and its people,” said Scott Moe, MLA for Rosthern-Shellbrook and Minister of the Environment.  “We’ve said all along that producers in the agricultural, mining and energy sectors will face steep cost hikes making our province less competitive and it seems that Ottawa’s policy-makers agree as this memo makes that clear.”

“While the memo points out that some sectors - like Ontario’s car makers - can pass costs along to consumers, other sectors – those in Saskatchewan and Alberta – cannot.  We don’t think that’s fair of Ottawa to impose a carbon tax that hurts Saskatchewan,” Moe said.

The memo goes on to warn that carbon pricing alone cannot achieve the emissions targets set out by the federal government, and that additional mitigation measures and regulations will need to be coordinated.

“Using carbon pricing alone would require a higher price to achieve the same mitigation response, resulting in higher overall costs,” the federal memo says.

“Ottawa has tried to pass their carbon tax off as a benign measure that will slash emissions and have no unintended consequences for people and the economy.  Obviously, as their own memo warns, this isn’t true,” Moe said.  “What we’re saying to Ottawa is allow the provinces to make their own climate plans that achieve real reductions in emissions that work for their people and their economy.  Our government released a climate white paper in 2016 that outlines Saskatchewan’s plan to do just that.”

Saskatchewan’s Climate White Paper highlights Saskatchewan’s commitment to achieving real reductions in carbon emissions by employing innovative and technological solutions.  It includes employing new technology like carbon capture and reaffirms the commitment by utilities like SaskPower to work towards 50% renewable power by 2030 – faster than other provinces.