NORTH BATTLEFORD — The Saskatchewan government has released its white paper considering policy options regarding federal provincial jurisdiction.
The province released a paper entitled "Drawing the Line: Defending Saskatchewan's Economic Autonomy." According to their news release, this paper considers policy options in light of the current federal government intrusions into Saskatchewan's exclusive areas of jurisdiction under the constitution.
The paper was unveiled during the noon hour during an appearance by Premier Scott Moe at a Battlefords Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Chapel Gallery in North Battleford.
In a statement, Moe said his government will take steps to protect Saskatchewan's families, businesses and jobs from what is being characterized as “destructive federal policies that could cost our province's economy $111 billion by 2035.”
The province’s news release points to analysis from the Ministry of Finance which estimates that nine different federal climate change policies will cost Saskatchewan's economy $111 billion between 2023 and 2035.
"The situation has been exacerbated in recent years by the current federal government's continued interference in the province's jurisdiction over natural resources under the guise of federal environmental regulation," Moe said in a statement. "It is time to defend and assert Saskatchewan's economic autonomy by 'drawing the line:' taking a number of steps including the introduction of provincial legislation to clarify and protect Saskatchewan's constitutional rights."
In a news release Tuesday, the province outlined the major points of the policy document including the following:
- Provincial legislation to clarify and protect constitutional rights belonging to the province;
- Pursue greater autonomy over immigration policy to ensure Saskatchewan has the people it needs;
- Better recognize Saskatchewan industry contributions to sustainable growth — for example, develop a carbon credit market to support our natural resource industries;
- Prepare to take legal actions, legislative or otherwise, to maintain control of electricity, fertilizer emission/use targets and oil and gas emissions/production; and
- Explore greater autonomy in tax collection.
Moe also has confirmed that government will provide further details and next steps in the speech from the throne on Oct. 26.
In a statement on YouTube, NDP leader Carla Beck was critical of the white paper release, accusing the Premier of distracting from the real issues.
“Scott Moe is more interested in distraction, sowing division, and pointing fingers than actually delivering results,” said Beck. “All summer, Scott Moe’s Sask Party has pushed division and distraction away from their own failures. And under Scott Moe’s SaskParty, thousands of people are leaving our province every month.”
Beck also characterized Moe as being out of touch with Saskatchewan voters.
“Standing up to the Feds is important, but Scott Moe is not fighting to protect the jobs of Saskatchewan people. He’s presenting this White Paper to protect his own. Scott Moe is out of touch with what Saskatchewan people want and need — making life more affordable, making sure people can get the health care they need, and ensuring good jobs and opportunity in our province so our kids see a bright future here at home.
You can find a pdf of the white paper at this link.