Premier Brad Wall discusses signing national carbon agreement in Vancouver

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and his counterparts met with the prime minister in Vancouver to discuss climate change strategies. File / Global News

REGINA – Premier Brad Wall went into the First Ministers meeting in Vancouver saying he wouldn’t sign onto a national carbon tax, but he did sign a carbon agreement.

The premiers remain divided on how carbon should be priced. British Columbia has a carbon tax, Alberta plans to introduce one in 2017, Quebec is in the cap-and-trade market, and Ontario plans on entering that market next year too.

To reach a compromise the premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the Vancouver Accord.

Some of the framework in this carbon agreement includes pricing carbon and including market transactions related to carbon mitigation technologies. Two things Wall said are already done at the Boundary Dam Carbon Capture and Storage Plant.

READ MORE: Premiers agree to study carbon pricing as part of national climate change plan

It also includes a promise to work on limiting emissions. One of Wall’s goals for the province is getting northern communities away from diesel power generation.

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“Obviously that’s a very greenhouse gas intense form of energy, so we want to look at ways to help the north move to a much cleaner form of energy. I think that’s next,” Wall said.

The Trans-Canada Energy East Pipeline is another point of contention Wall was vocal about ahead of the Vancouver meeting, specifically opposition to the project from Quebec.

Quebec filed an injunction against Trans-Canada on Tuesday, looking to force the company to follow provincial environmental rules.

READ MORE: Quebec to seek injunction against Energy East in move Saskatchewan premier calls ‘divisive’

Wall said he isn’t hopeful about a resolution in the near future, but acknowledged a positive came from the meeting.

“Now to the credit of Premier Coulliard he’s going to sit down with Premier Notley, and another company, well not the company, but other western interests and try to find a way through this,” Wall said.

The provincial and territorial leaders will meet with the Prime Minister again in September to follow-up on discussion and commitments made at the First Ministers’ meeting.

With files from The Canadian Press


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