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No change on Sask. carbon tax stance after meeting with the prime minister

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn't changed his mind about being the lone holdout on a national climate change plan. Files / Global News

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t changed his mind about being the lone holdout on a national climate change plan.

Moe said he isn’t willing to put a tax on carbon because it would hurt Saskatchewan’s industries, but said that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to talk with the federal government about what Saskatchewan is doing to reduce emissions from mining, energy and agriculture.

“Saskatchewan’s stance with respect to carbon taxation remains strong,” Moe said, following his meeting with Trudeau. “We did have a discussion with respect to where we’re going in the province on emissions. For instance, the equivalency agreements that we need to continue to work with our federal government on around coal-fired electricity as well as methane emissions.”

READ MORE: Canada’s climate change framework needs to be big deal in 2018: advocates

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Trudeau did not comment after the meeting. However, on Global News Morning with Teri Fikowski, Trudeau stressed the importance of full compliance.

“There’s a choice between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy, but I’ve talked to enough people in Canada and Saskatchewan to know that everyone understands we need to grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time, and I know there’s a lot of room for us to work together in smart ways to do just that,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau was also asked about Premier Moe using the Trudeau coin-phrase, “just watch me”, when talking about carbon taxes and carbon pricing.

“Listen, I’m looking forward to sitting down with Premier Moe and working with him,” Trudeau said. “I know there’s a lot of things that we agree on and there’s a lot of things that we will be able to do together for the people of Saskatchewan and the people across the country and it’s going to be a great conversation.”

WATCH: Justin Trudeau in Regina

Moe and Trudeau met privately in Regina today as part of a post-budget tour visit by the prime minister.

Last week, federal environment minister Catherine McKenna urged Saskatchewan to sign on to Ottawa’s plan or risk losing its $60 million shares of federal money for emission-reduction programs.

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Moe says he and Trudeau talked about equivalency agreements that the province needs to meet its emission targets.

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