Concern ran through the ranks of Saskatchewan's government this week after the federal government introduced an omnibus bill related to the budget.

While one government introducing legislation that another doesn't like is nothing new, some may wonder what, in particular, this bill has that worries Premier Scott Moe and those under him.

"An omnibus bill is basically a single document that is accepted by a single vote. Within that document there are several measures that are put into one complete package. But because of the large size and the scope, the bill limits opportunities for actual debate and scrutiny," explained Estevan's MLA, Lori Carr.

The portion of this bill that had the province up in arms was the 'Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act', better known by it's most commonly referred to moniker...carbon tax. This means that, if the overall bill is passed, carbon tax is officially imposed on Saskatchewan.

"Just because they do that, doesn't mean that that's going to prevent the province of Saskatchewan from continuing with the legal challenge," Carr stated.

With that said, Premier Moe responded to the bill by announcing that the province will take the matter to the Court of Appeals.

"If we don't appeal, we will go to 50 dollars a ton for carbon. That would cost as much as 2 billion dollars for the Saskatchewan economy. For a family of four, every year, it would cost approximately an additional $1,250. That's not just people in the southeast, that's people right across the province. For a farming family, they can add 10-12 dollars an acre."

"We plan on launching the challenge within the next few weeks. We feel we have a very strong case," Carr added, noting that once things get rolling, timeline is all up to the court.

"The interesting fact is that once this actually launched, other interested parties including other provinces, can intervene in the case, they can put their two cents in." 

While the rest of Canada has already signed on to the federal carbon tax, Carr said that there's nothing stopping them from chiming in. However, she believes it's too early to tell whether any will opt to do so.


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