REGINA – Over the past several weeks Premier Brad Wall has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the proposed pan-Canadian carbon tax being discussed Thursday at the First Ministers’ meeting in Vancouver.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be discussing a variety of environmental issues with provincial and territorial leaders, including the proposed carbon tax and pipelines.
Ahead of the meeting Wall continued his opposition.
“We’ve done the quick math on a $15 per tonne carbon tax in our province, and it’s between $400 to $500 extra a year for a family in our province,” Wall said.
“But it’s about 400 to 500 million out of our economy at a time when we really can’t afford it.”
The premier added that he will also be lobbying for economic assessment of any national climate change initiative as part of his effort to make the economy the meeting’s top priority.
While speaking with media in Vancouver, the Prime Minister said he and the provinces “need to roll up their sleeves, and work together,” while emphasizing the importance of striking an economic and environmental balance.
“We had a government that saw economic growth and environmental health as competing interests, rather than vital components in a single engine of innovation,” Trudeau said.
While opposing the idea of a carbon tax, Wall supported the need for investment in environmental innovation. He has repeatedly pointed to the Boundary Dam Carbon Capture and Storage Project as a way to cut greenhouse emissions.
However, if a national carbon tax is approved by parliament, Wall acknowledged there’s nothing the province can do about it.
“Apart from calling scrums, and writing letters, and meeting with the Prime Minister there would be nothing we can do,” Wall said back in February.
“There would be no constitutional or legal options.”