NSBA disagrees with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on carbon tax

A Saskatoon business group disagrees with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s position on a carbon tax. Global News

A Saskatoon business group says the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has it wrong in supporting a carbon tax.

The chamber said on Dec. 13 that a carbon tax is the most efficient way to cut greenhouse gas emissions while providing certainty.

READ MORE: Carbon tax is the smartest way to target rising emissions: Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“Our members are very much in favour of it,” Aaron Henry, the chamber’s director of natural resources and environmental policy, said.

“They’re happy to do this. We applaud the Canadian government’s direction on this.”

NSBA executive director Keith Moen said they “fundamentally disagree” with that conclusion.

“Any potential certainty from this tax would be countered by the completely uncertain significant damages to the western economy and the impacts of competing with non-carbon tax countries for our exports,” Moen said in a statement.

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“I have not had a single business express support for the tax, while the overriding feeling is opposition to the tax. I can categorically state our members oppose the tax. This tax will harm our businesses, employees, their families and our communities.”

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The federal government’s climate change action plan includes a national price on carbon.

Moen said the NSBA supports the Saskatchewan government’s plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions without a carbon tax.

The province said its Prairie Resilience strategy, released in December 2017, makes commitments to reducing emissions through innovation and technology without impacting the economy.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s climate resiliency plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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“Saskatchewan already has its resource economy being hamstrung and agricultural exports threatened despite our ongoing actions towards carbon dioxide reduction, capture and storage,” Moen said.

“A carbon tax is simply a tax and our members know it.”

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The Saskatchewan government is challenging the constitutionality of the carbon tax in court.

It is expected to be heard by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in February 2019.

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