REGINA and EDMONTON—Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says Ottawa’s plan to unilaterally impose a price on carbon across Canada shows what he calls a stunning level of disrespect.
Wall says in a statement to media that the national focus on carbon pricing holds the lowest potential for reducing emissions, while potentially doing the greatest harm to the Canadian economy.
The premier says Saskatchewan’s economy is already hurting from a downturn in commodity prices and will be one of the hardest hit by a new federal carbon tax.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal Liberal government will establish a floor price on carbon pollution of $10 a tonne in 2018, rising to $50 a tonne by 2022.
Trudeau says the federal government will implement a price in any province or territory that doesn’t have either a carbon price or a cap-and-trade system in place by 2018.
Wall says the province estimates the carbon tax will cost the average family $1,250 a year and farm families will be among the hardest hit.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley also spoke out about the carbon plan, saying Alberta will not support Ottawa’s climate change plan unless the federal government makes progress on new oil pipelines to Canada’s coasts.
Notley immediately issued a statement saying her government supports a common carbon price, but won’t support the proposal unless it sees progress on energy infrastructure.
She says Alberta has generously supported initiatives in the past to help other provinces deal with tough economic times.
Notley says it’s time for the federal government to act and help Alberta get back on its feet.