News / Canada

Saskatchewan premier starts online petition opposing federal carbon tax plan

SASKATOON — Saskatchewan's premier says he knows Canadians do not support a national carbon tax so he's started his own online petition.

At a news conference on Thursday, Brad Wall also said Saskatchewan is prepared to take the federal government to court.

He pointed to a federal survey which listed the options for reducing carbon emissions and a tax was the least popular.

He said the survey wasn't released to the public, but was given to the province after his government filed a freedom of information request.

The carbon tax will be the main focus of a Dec. 9 meeting in Ottawa between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s premiers and indigenous leaders.

The premier said he may be alone at that meeting in fighting the carbon pricing plan.

“I do believe there are premiers that have concerns about jurisdictional issues,” he said. “Maybe not the concerns we have about the carbon tax, in particular, but about the federal government willing to impose anything nationally, in an area of shared jurisdiction.”

Wall said a carbon tax would be a bad deal for the country and for Saskatchewan.

"I think Canadians do understand that, you know, we do need to do something about climate change. But is (a carbon tax) the right thing to do? Is it even the most effective?"

He said his province's decision to get to 50 per cent renewables by 2030 is another alternative that will actually help shrink a carbon footprint better than a tax.

Trudeau has said his pan-Canadian climate strategy will put the country on a downward emissions trajectory to its 2030 Paris emissions target. The Liberal government has promised the United Nations that Canada will cut emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Wall said whatever comes out of the Dec. 9 meeting, his government is ready to continue the fight against a carbon tax in front of a judge.

"Our justice ministry is looking at whether or not we have legal options. We think there are options and if need be, we will take the federal government to court," he said.

(CTV Saskatoon, CKOM, CJWW)