The federal government’s recent announcement on carbon pricing has created a variety of new concerns for residents and businesses in Saskatchewan. While the precise details of how carbon pricing might be implemented in Saskatchewan have not yet been released
by the provincial government, it is clearly in Saskatchewan’s best interest to try and find ways to prevent this policy decision from unduly damaging our province’s economy.
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce had written an open letter on the issue to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change shortly after their announcement and then also discussed the new policy with Hon. Ralph Goodale, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness very soon after that. There were a variety of things discussed during that meeting, including ways that the federal government might be able to help reduce the damage to Saskatchewan’s economy by investing into climate change adaptation and mitigation programs, additional investments into Saskatchewan-based carbon reduction technologies, and even the possibility of the federal government helping SaskPower to fund new transmission lines from Manitoba to bring low-carbon hydro electricity into Saskatchewan in order to reduce our dependence on high-carbon coal generation.
The Chamber has also had meetings with the Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Environment, the CEO of SaskPower, and other officials at SaskPower to discuss ways in which Saskatchewan can better navigate this very difficult national policy decision.
As the SCC continues to meet with representatives from industry, SaskPower, and both levels of government, we are also working to create a new research report that examines how carbon pricing has been implemented in other jurisdictions, how to best avoid the mistakes that have been made in other provinces, and how Saskatchewan might be able to work with Ottawa to mitigate the very damaging effects that this announcement will have on our economy. That report should be released in the next few weeks.
Click here to read the SCC’s open letter to the Ministers of the Environment