On Thursday, Saskatchewan introduced its Carbon Tax Fairness for Families Amendment Act, also known as Bill 151, which would order the provincial gas supplier to stop collecting federal carbon tax on natural gas for home heating.
The Saskatchewan Party government says the intention of the bill is to shield Saskatchewan families from unfair and unaffordable federal carbon pricing on their SaskEneregy bills.
Dustin Duncan, the minister responsible for SaskEnergy also said he was prepared to face any consequences that might come from Ottawa if the province were to end carbon tax collection on natural gas home heating.
We still believe the federal government should remove the carbon tax on everything for everyone, Duncan said in the release. But until that happens, our government will ensure fairness for Saskatchewan families by taking the carbon tax off their SaskEnergy bills, he added.
Removing carbon tax from SaskEnergy bills will save the average Saskatchewan family $400, according to the government. Upon becoming law, the change would come into effect in the new year.
Saskatchewan first signalled its intention to stop collecting carbon tax on home heating bills after the federal government announced it would pause the tax on home heating oil, a move that primarily will benefit Atlantic Canada where it is a common fuel source.
NDP WANT TAX REMOVED THROUGH COLLABORATIVE WORK
The Saskatchewan NDP’s critic for SaskEnergy Erika Ritchie says the bill introduced on Thursday is something they need to take a more detailed look at before deciding if it is something the party will stand behind.
“As you know the bill was only tabled this morning, so we need to take the time to look at the contents of the bill, do our due diligence and consult with legal experts,” Ritchie said.
According to Ritchie, the NDP may have questions surrounding the constitutionality of the bill.
“We want to be able to look into those questions before we can give it an endorsement,” she said.
Ritchie said what they do support now is collaborative work with Ottawa to remove the federal carbon tax.
“We’ve said all along that we don’t support the carbon tax and we want to see a carve-out extended to all forms of home heating and we expect to work with the feds to make sure that does take place by January 1,” Ritchie said.