- The premiers from across the country, including Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, are meeting in New Brunswick starting today. One of the topics on the agenda will be the federal government's carbon tax, which is heavily opposed by Moe.
Moe has the support of many Saskatchewan residents, including Dan Cugnet, the chairman of Valleyview Petroleums. Cugnet explained the federal carbon tax would be crippling for many sectors of not just the Saskatchewan economy, but the Canadian economy as well.
“Whether that’s oil, whether that’s agriculture, whether that’s manufacturing, that's not something that puts us at a level playing field with most of our trading partners,” Cugnet said, adding the carbon tax will also become a barrier to those looking to invest in those sectors as well.
There have been other jurisdictions where carbon taxes were tried, and failed, Cugnet pointed out. One of the biggest examples was Australia. The tax in Australia, which was in place for two years, saw greenhouse gases actually increase in some sectors, which offset the reductions in the targeted industries.
“They had a carbon tax and realized it was not doing what in concept it was supposed to do. It was just a tax, and ultimately that’s what this is. It’s just a tax.”
Cugnet explained a carbon tax is not the answer based on how carbon consumption is a part of everyday life in Canada, with petrochemicals used in smartphones and plastics, the carbon emissions from cars, and from heating homes across the country.
The federal government introduced a carbon tax as part of the budget earlier this year. Provinces which don’t have their own carbon tax in place will have one imposed by the federal government. The Saskatchewan government is fighting the decision, pointing out their own policies in place to curb carbon emissions.