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Saskatchewan won’t remit carbon tax to feds

Minister for SaskEnergy Dustin Duncan announces decision not to remit carbon tax to Ottawa
Dustin Duncan said he took a “walk in the rain” before announcing Saskatchewan would not remit the carbon tax to the Feds.

REGINA - It’s another war of words between Saskatchewan and Ottawa, upon news that Saskatchewan will not remit the carbon tax to the federal government.

Minister for SaskEnergy Dustin Duncan made the announcement on social media, posting a video in which he announced his decision while standing in front of Parliament in Ottawa. 

“I’m here in Ottawa where 40 years ago Pierre Trudeau took a walk in the snow and decided to resign as Prime Minister. Today, I took a walk in the rain and made an important decision on the carbon tax… 

“The carbon tax has always been unaffordable but at least up till now it has been applied fairly. The heating oil exemption for Atlanta Canada changed that. And our government simply is not going to accept this unfair treatment of Saskatchewan families by (Justin) Trudeau.

“So today I’m announcing that in addition to not collecting the carbon tax on SaskEnergy bills, the Government of Saskatchewan will not be remitting the federal carbon tax on natural gas that Saskatchewan families have used to heat their homes. 

“This is a decision we do not take lightly, and we recognize it may come with consequences. This is why in December of last year the Saskatchewan legislature unanimously passed a law that gives our government and me as minister the exclusive responsibility for compliance with the federal carbon tax on home heating.

“The Trudeau-NDP carbon tax has been a disaster, driving up the cost of most everything while doing nothing to reduce emissions. The real solution would be for Trudeau to scrap the carbon tax on everyone and everything.

“But until that happens, Saskatchewan families won’t pay the carbon tax on their household SaskEnergy bill and the Trudeau government won’t receive the carbon tax from our government either.”

Soon after came word from the federal government that they would be cancelling the entire Carbon Tax rebate for Saskatchewan families. That prompted this reaction posted on social media by Premier Scott Moe:

“Even though Saskatchewan has made the decision to no longer collect and remit the Trudeau carbon tax on natural gas, Saskatchewan people are still paying millions of dollars of Trudeau carbon tax each year on gasoline, diesel, propane, and essentially everything in the supply chain. 

“So on what basis would they cancel the entire rebate, especially when they are still providing carbon tax rebates to families in Atlanta Canada? 

“Of course, it’s a ridiculous and unfair response to Saskatchewan providing tax fairness for Saskatchewan families after the federal government removed the carbon tax on home heating oil, primarily for Atlantic Canada. 

“If the Trudeau government follow through on this threat, they will once again be penalizing Saskatchewan families for wanting to be treated the same as other Canadians. 

“But if Saskatchewan people stop getting the rebate entirely, Saskatchewan should stop paying the carbon tax entirely. No rebate = no tax.”

Opposition Leader Carla Beck issued the following statement this afternoon, taking the Moe government to task for not negotiating their own Atlantic-style carveout for the carbon tax.

“If Scott Moe actually wanted to save families hundreds of dollars, he could have removed his Sask. Party tax on gas and fuel, but he said no. He’s making life more expensive.

“Fundamentally, this comes down to fairness for Saskatchewan families and remitting an unfair and unequal tax to the federal government isn’t right.

“We do not support the carbon tax and we believe that Scott Moe could have gotten an Atlantic-style carve-out for Saskatchewan families if he actually did the work to fight for Saskatchewan, instead of jetting off on million-dollar trips to Dubai and India.

“We need an approach like we’ve seen south of the border that actually invests in new industries and technologies that reduce emissions in a meaningful way and create good mortgage-paying jobs families can rely on.

 “It’s clear that this government is out of touch and just isn’t up for the job."