Environment minister says 'made in Saskatchewan climate plan' coming soon
Dustin Duncan says province will refuse carbon tax, cap and trade
Saskatchewan's Environment minister says he will soon unveil the province's alternative to a carbon tax.
The federal government has warned the provinces that unless they have a price on carbon, it will impose one in the new year.
While the Canadian government is proposing cap and trade or carbon tax, Duncan said the province's new plan is neither.
In fact, he said Saskatchewan's plan is better.
"I think there will be quite a bit of buyer's remorse from provinces that took one or the other without fully thinking this through," he said. "I think they'll see a very good plan and I think they'll say 'Why did we take one or the other when there were other options.'"
Duncan said the plan will be presented to the people of Saskatchewan and to the federal government for approval.
Last fall, Premier Brad Wall released a White Paper on Climate Change, with details on what he called "an alternative approach to Prime Minister Trudeau's national carbon tax."
It suggested the federal government "redeploy" the $2.655 billion it plans to spend fighting climate change in developing countries to funding for research and innovation in Canada.
It also proposed that companies with large emissions pay into a provincial technology fund that they could pull from in the future for new technology and innovation to reduce greenhouse gases.
Duncan said the White Paper laid out a lot of the ground work for the new plan and the technology fund is still being debated.
'Federal backstop' unclear
So far, the federal government has not announced legislation to force provinces into a climate plan although they said they would do so by Jan. 1, 2018. Duncan said it's unlikely so late in the game.
In an email to CBC News, the federal Ministry of Environment said all provinces and territories will have a price on carbon pollution by the new year.
"The pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution provides flexibility to provinces and territories to design their own pricing systems while ensuring that pricing will be in place throughout Canada by means of a federal backstop that will apply in any jurisdiction that does not take action," a spokesperson said.
According to the federal government, no matter what system the provinces and territories use, the revenues from the price on pollution will remain in the province.
With files from Stefani Langenegger