When it comes to opposing the federal carbon tax, the premier of Saskatchewan believes his government is not only on solid ground politically, but also in the courts.
“I’m confident on both fronts. I truly am. I’ve never felt better about our stance with respect to the legal argument that we’ve put forward,” says Premier Scott Moe, in the interview below, speaking with RealAgriculture prior to his speech at a reception hosted by the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association in Regina on Thursday.
The province has asked the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to rule on whether Ottawa’s carbon price backstop legislation violates the constitution, under the premise the federal government cannot impose a tax on some jurisdictions and not on others.
Saskatchewan gained a major ally in the political fight against the carbon tax earlier this month, with Doug Ford and the PC’s winning the Ontario election. Moe says he’s had numerous conversations with Ford to discuss their shared position.
He’s also spoken with his conservative counterpart in Manitoba — Brian Pallister — about his government’s move to go ahead with its own version of a carbon tax. In Manitoba’s case, a legal opinion commissioned by the province said the federal government could impose its carbon pricing plan. “We respect Premier Pallister’s decision, but we continue to talk to him because we have similar industries and we represent, in many ways, similar individuals,” says Moe.
While the Saskatchewan government doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the federal Liberals on carbon policy, it’s supportive of the federal response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.
“It’s unfortunate we have to do this, but yes, we have to have retaliatory measures in place so we can ensure we can continue to be at the table in a serious fashion,” says Moe, who met with key figures in the U.S. administration, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in Washington earlier this month. “We need all hands on deck, and that includes our Prime Minister’s hands. This is the most important trade deal our nation has…this is worth the effort of everybody.”
Along those lines, Moe will be discussing trade with U.S. legislators on Monday at the Western Governors’ Association annual meeting in South Dakota.
Listen to Premier Moe discuss his government’s carbon tax policy, Canada’s response to U.S. tariffs, and the message he delivered in Washington earlier this month: