Premier Scott Moe and NDP leader Ryan Meili spar on Twitter over climate report, carbon tax

A UN climate report which called for action on fighting climate change drew Saskatchewan's Premier and opposition leader to Twitter to argue over policy.

UN climate report focus of social media back and forth

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and NDP leader Ryan Meili (CBC)

Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili and Premier Scott Moe got an early start on the coming fall sitting by trading barbs over climate policy.

This week the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a 728-page report detailing how Earth's weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if world leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming. 

The report caused widespread reaction from around the world. 

On Thursday, Moe, quoted a tweet from the head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation which used a figure of a $5,500 US per tonne carbon tax. That number is a reference to a section of the report that states a carbon tax could cost from $135 to $5,500 by the year 2030.

The 88 per cent Moe is referencing in that tweet is this Angus Reid poll from July. The question was if Saskatchewan was right to oppose the carbon tax in court.

The provincial government has filed a reference case to the court of appeal to see if Ottawa has the jurisdiction to impose a carbon tax on Saskatchewan. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has done the same in his province. Last week, Manitoba pulled out of the federal government's carbon tax plan.

Last December, Saskatchewan Environment Minister Dustin Duncan released the province's plan to reduce emissions without a carbon tax.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the Saskatchewan plan  "wouldn't hit our standard, because it applies only to heavy industry instead of being economy-wide."

Premier of Ontario Doug Ford, left, shakes hands with Premier of Saskatchewan Scott Moe during a media event in Saskatoon. Ford and Moe are opposed to the national climate plan. (Liam Richards/Canadian Press)

SaskPower has committed to using 50 per cent electricity capacity from renewable resources and reducing overall GHG emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. 

Saskatchewan's greenhouse gas emissions were 75 million tonnes in 2015, which was a reduction of 0.7 per cent from 2014, according to Canada's National Inventory Report 2017.

Canada produces approximately two per cent of global emissions. Saskatchewan produces 10 per cent of Canada's output.

In August, Duncan announced "performance standards" for large industrial emitters that, if successful, are expected to reduce the province's overall emissions by 1.1 per cent by 2030.

Meili has said he supports the federal government's plan to put a price on carbon. The provincial NDP has said it disagrees with the provincial government's position and its climate policy but has yet to put forward its own position.


  • A previous version of this story said the $5,500 figure that appears in a tweet from the head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation was referencing the cost of a potential carbon tax in the year 2100. In fact, the report presents a range of $135 to $5,500 US in the year 2030.
    Oct 12, 2018 5:37 PM CT


Adam Hunter


Adam Hunter is the provincial affairs reporter at CBC Saskatchewan, based in Regina. He has been with CBC for more than 14 years. Follow him on Twitter @AHiddyCBC. Contact him:

with files from the Associated Press