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Saskatchewan says won't remit carbon tax to Canada govt
Saskatchewan says won't remit carbon tax to Canada govt
by AFP Staff Writers
Ottawa (AFP) Feb 29, 2024

Canada's Saskatchewan province announced Thursday it will not collect and remit a federal carbon tax on natural gas for home heating, setting up a fight over national climate policy.

Dustin Duncan, the local minister in charge of the western plains province's utility SaskEnergy, made the announcement in a video posted on social media on the last day before a payment deadline for January.

"The government of Saskatchewan will not be remitting the federal carbon tax on natural gas that Saskatchewan families use to heat their homes," he said.

He explained that the move was about affordability and fairness after Ottawa last year announced a carbon pricing exemption on home heating oil, which is primarily used in Atlantic Canada.

Ottawa has said it expects all provinces to follow the law on federal carbon pricing, but has not made clear the repercussions for failing to do so.

"We recognize that this may come with consequences," Duncan said.

Canada has set a target of slashing total carbon emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Crucial to the plan is the carbon tax that is set to rise to Can$170 (US$125) per tonne by 2030.

Critics, citing soaring costs-of-living, have demanded a pause in the collection of the federal levy until inflation stabilizes, particularly on home heating fuels in winter.

Saskatchewan and two other provinces sued in 2021 to try to block the federal carbon tax but their arguments were rejected by the Supreme Court.

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