The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is disappointed with the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling, which found the federal government’s carbon tax constitutional.
“To be clear, the debate is not, and should not, be whether we need to transition to a lower carbon economy, but how to manage the process,” stated Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan. “There is a better way forward, the federal government’s pan-Canadian approach to pollution pricing has not recognized the unique challenges present in Saskatchewan; putting undue hardship on our residents and businesses, it is unfortunate that they will continue this approach.”
The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce supports a policy where innovation is championed, and where recognition is given to the fact that some speciﬁc regions and economic segments have a larger challenge before them.
“Driving corporate investments and production to jurisdictions where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not regulated does not help mitigate the impact of global climate change, the Saskatchewan people, nor the Canadian economy,” continued McLellan. “We really need climate change policy where emission intensive and trade-exposed industries, the foundation of Saskatchewan’s economy, are not penalized by one-size ﬁts all carbon pricing. Many of these industries have made substantial world-leading improvements in environmental performance.”
Earlier this month the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce released its report, Building the Low Carbon Economy: Exploring Opportunities and Challenges for Saskatchewan, which presented 18 recommendations to support the decarbonization of Saskatchewan businesses while protecting the local economy. The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce urges the federal government to implement these recommendations as it continues to develop climate change policy going forward (see the full report at www.saskchamber.com).
“Our report recognized that energy efficiency through investments in new technologies is essential, and immediately implementable, in the transition to the lower carbon economy. The federal government had committed to supporting Saskatchewan small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the adoption of these technologies when it imposed the carbon tax on Saskatchewan through the Climate Action Incentive Fund, however, the distribution of these funds has been paused by Ottawa,” elaborated McLellan. “The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce wants to see these funds promptly returned to provincial SMEs as originally promised. We could be using these resources to reduce emissions now.”