News

Report from the Legislature

April 26, 2018

Report from the Legislature
April 26. 2018
The Government of Saskatchewan has launched a constitutional reference case in the Saskatchewan
Court of Appeal to challenge the federal government's ability to impose a carbon tax on the province.
The government is asking the Court of Appeal to answer a clear question on the constitutionality of
the legislation that the federal government has introduced to impose the carbon tax.
The question is:
The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act was introduced into Parliament on March 28, 2018 as Part 5
of Bill C-74. If enacted, will this Act be unconstitutional in whole or in part?
We do not believe the federal government has the constitutional right to impose the Trudeau carbon
tax on Saskatchewan, against the wishes of the government and the people.
This federal tax fails to respect the sovereignty and autonomy of the provinces with respect to matters
under their jurisdiction. Simply put, we do not believe the federal government has the right to impose
a tax on one province but not others just because they don't like our climate change plan.
Under the constitution, each level of government is sovereign within its own legislative realm.
Provincial governments have the authority to set policy in areas of provincial jurisdiction, and the
federal government does not have the right to override that provincial authority.
The Government of Saskatchewan released Prairie Resilience: A Made-in- Saskatchewan Climate
Change Strategy in December 2017. The strategy includes:
 the development of sector-specific output-based performance standards on large emitting
facilities;
 increasing efficiencies in buildings;
 creating a freight strategy to improve delivery times, reducing fuel and increasing efficiency;
and
 developing a climate resiliency model to help ensure communities are able to adapt and
mitigate against the effects of climate change.
Our made-in- Saskatchewan strategy is broader and bolder than a carbon tax. Our plan includes
reducing emissions from the electricity sector by 40 per cent and methane emissions from the oil and
gas sector by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030.
Our Saskatchewan story also includes our agriculture industry that sequesters nearly 12 million tonnes
of CO2 annually and carbon capture at Boundary Dam 3 that has prevented two million tonnes of
carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere. Saskatchewan is the solution, not the problem.
Our government will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan against the Trudeau government's costly
and ineffective carbon tax, while pursuing real emission reductions and protecting jobs in the
province.
Our government will always stand up for Saskatchewan and that includes ensuring the Trans Mountain
pipeline gets built.
Access to overseas markets is critical to getting the world price for Canadian crude oil and ending the
significant discounting of Canadian crude oil. The status quo cost Saskatchewan oil producers an
estimated $2.6 billion and the province an estimated $210 million in taxes, royalties and other
revenue last year.
Pipelines are acknowledged as the most efficient and the safest method of transporting large volumes
of crude oil. We are confident that federally-approved and properly-regulated pipelines can be

constructed and operated in a manner that protects both the environment and public health and
safety.
The expansion of our national pipeline capacity is vital to the future of our energy sector and to
thousands of Canadian jobs. It must not be obstructed, either by a lack of federal leadership or by a
provincial government overstepping.
We find ourselves in gridlock today because, in the 18 months since the federal government approved
the Trans Mountain pipeline, it has failed to ensure that construction could proceed.
Our government has introduced Bill 126, The Energy Export Act, which creates the legislative
framework necessary to optimize the value of Saskatchewan's oil, gas, and refined petroleum products
by establishing a permitting process to export such products outside the province.
Similar in intent to legislation recently introduced by the Government of Alberta, Bill 126 is a last
resort that will be used only if the Trans Mountain pipeline continues to be stalled by provincial
obstruction and federal inaction, and if the Alberta government acts upon its legislation.
Oil doesn't stop moving when pipelines are opposed – instead it moves on rail or by truck. Increasing
pipeline access to tidewater would inject billions of dollars into Canada's economy. Aspiring to greater
energy independence is a priority for Saskatchewan and should always be a priority for the nation of
Canada.

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