Premier says Sask. should get federal funding to reduce emissions despite saying 'no' to carbon tax plan
All other provinces and territories have signed on to deal
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the province should still receive federal funding for emission reduction programs despite saying "no" to the federal carbon tax plan.
Saskatchewan is now the only holdout in the country not committing to the federal climate change plan, amidst a looming deadline for funding.
Manitoba makes Sask. only holdout
Manitoba agreed to sign onto the Pan Canadian Framework on Climate Change on Friday, securing $67 million in federal money for emission reduction programs.
The federal Ministry of the Environment sent Manitoba a letter in December giving it until the end of February to sign on, or else lose its share of a $1.4-billion clean energy fund.
The fund is only available to provinces that ratified the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which Manitoba and Saskatchewan refused to sign in December 2016.
The Saskatchewan government couldn't confirm if it received the same ultimatum, but a representative for the federal government said the deadline for coming on board is Feb. 28.
No signature until 'threat' relents: Environment Minister
In a statement, Sask. Environment Min. Dustin Duncan said they will only consider signing on when the federal government "relents on their threat to impose a tax on our people, industries and communities."
Duncan said the infrastructure funding shouldn't be contingent on provinces agreeing to a single policy directive, such as carbon tax.
"Especially one that threatens our economy and jobs," said Duncan, adding that the province wants the federal government to recognize its own climate change efforts, such as carbon capture and storage.
Moe added that he wants Saskatchewan's climate change plan to be sufficient for the federal government to ensure access to the funding.
Province runs risk of imposed tax: NDP
Opposition leader Nicole Sarauer said she thinks the provincial government should go to the table to come to an agreement with the federal government.
"The Sask. Party has shown nothing but tantrums and inaction on this file so far, and it hasn't gotten us further as a province," said Sarauer.
"It hasn't gotten us anywhere, and we now run the risk of being the only province that has the federally imposed carbon tax on us."
Feds 'just waiting'
Federal Environment Min. Catherine McKenna said she's worked with new Sask. Premier Scott Moe in the past, and has had conversations with him about working together on climate change.
"We're just waiting. We certainly hope that they will commit," McKenna told CBC.
"There's the opportunity for us to work together to help finance some initiatives that are important to the people of Saskatchewan, like energy efficiency, and smart climate action just makes sense," she said.
The federal government plans to implement the plan by fall 2018.
with files from CBC's Sean Kavanagh