The City of Estevan Chamber of Commerce has been advocating on the behalf of the energy city within our province. Jackie Wall Executive Director of the Chamber, "The Canadian Chamber came out with a release saying they were in principle in favor of the Carbon pricing strategy. Now they did present a lot of caveats that they would like to be addressed by the government. But overall they came out in support of Carbon pricing. And that is in direct conflict with the work that Saskatchewan Chamber's have been doing, particularly with the Saskatchewan Chamber."
Wall elaborates, "We just wanted to make it known to our members, that we are not for the Carbon pricing strategy that the federal government has come out with. We are behind our provincial government in the fact that we believe there are other ways we can reduce carbon emissions that will not have such a direct impact as the carbon tax will have on the transportation industry, the agriculture industry, and of course on our heating bills in our province. A lot of the sectors in Saskatchewan that we deal with are price takers and they sell their services and products globally. And it's going to put them at a disadvantage on the global market and they cannot just pass on those increased costs. We've been working with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce along with all of our other chambers throughout this province. We just feel that the federal government is not on the mark here, and we wanted to clarify that position with what the Canadian Chamber came out with."
In regards to the way the Chamber is initiating a plan of action, "We have been working with some of the conferences we've had with Saskatchewan Chambers, like chambers throughout the Province and we've been in support of what the Saskatchewan Chamber has come up with as a result of that work with the Chambers across the province. The Saskatchewan Chamber has sent out several letters to many levels of government and different ministers. They've been working along with the rest of the province just to clearly indicate that this is going to be detrimental to a lot of the trades and a lot of the industries in our province, and it's going to put us at a disadvantage globally. We also need to take a look at what happens on the global market, and we need to remain competitive even though we need to work towards a better carbon plan for our country and for our province. The carbon tax is probably not going to be the best solution."
Dustin Duncan set forth a plan into motion in 2018, and Wall comments on how it may affect Estevan, "The Prairie Resilience paper came out in 2018, it was the Saskatchewan governments look at the strategy instead of carbon pricing. I believe there was a lot of great information in there, I do wish there would have been a bit more concrete information as far as the hard numbers behind the carbon plan. Exactly how it was going to decrease our emissions, but I believe it was a very good start and it was a good look at what is happening. And I think it opened up the dialogue to show that there are a lot of industries in our province that will that would be adversely affected by a carbon tax. I believe that the prairie provinces need to come together and explain our situation within our industries and how the carbon tax is going to affect us. Now we obviously do not have any hard data as far as what is going to happen once the carbon pricing comes into effect. I believe that will be a real indication of how effective or ineffective the federal plan is going to be."
Wall would like to know more about how the Province will see a return on this tax, like what was promised. Until then she says we need to, "Come up with creative solutions to reduce our carbon emissions, I don't believe a carbon tax is the best way to go about it."