Saskatchewan will have to wait until the spring for the province’s Appeal Court to hear the government’s constitutional challenge of Ottawa’s carbon tax.
Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said Friday it’s disappointing the case won’t come up until next year.
He said the federal government asked for more time, which is what pushed the case back.
“We were hoping one way or the other to … have a little bit more certainty before the end of the year but that’s not going to be the case.”
The federal government has given provinces until January to come up with their own carbon pricing or have targets imposed on them. The carbon price outlined by Ottawa starts at a minimum of $20 a tonne and rises $10 annually until 2022.
Duncan wonders why Ottawa can’t wait for a court ruling before bringing in the tax.
“Why don’t we just wait and find out what the courts say?”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who has filed his own legal action, is supporting Saskatchewan’s constitutional challenge.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister has floated the idea of joining Saskatchewan and Ontario in their court fights against the federal plan. Pallister recently scrapped plans to impose a $25-a-tonne flat carbon tax, because Ottawa wouldn’t agree to refrain from imposing an additional levy.
Also on Friday, SaskPower, the province’s electric utility, announced a deal with Potentia Renewables Inc. to build 60 wind turbines south of Assiniboia. Once complete, the project is expected to produce enough renewable electricity to power 90,000 homes for 25 years.
The government announced a similar wind energy project last month, which is to be located south of Herbert and have 56 turbines.
Saskatchewan has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.
Duncan said he believes in climate change, but said a carbon tax isn’t the answer.
“I believe it’s real (climate change) and I believe we need to have a fulsome climate action plan. Ours just doesn’t include a carbon tax.”