Saskatchewan

Sask. mayors, councillors back premier on carbon pricing fight

Saskatchewan mayors and councillors have voted to support the provincial government in its fight against federal carbon pricing.

SUMA delegates vote to support province's opposition to carbon pricing

Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association delegates were talking about climate change and Ottawa's carbon pricing plan this week. (CBC)

Saskatchewan mayors and councillors have voted to support the provincial government in its fight against federal carbon pricing.

The vote came Tuesday as Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association delegates were debating resolutions at their annual meeting in Saskatoon.

The resolution titled "Provincial carbon tax" was submitted by SUMA's city group. It says SUMA supports "the provincial government's position opposing federal carbon pricing."

Included was an amendment calling on urban municipalities "to assume a leadership role in adopting carbon reduction strategies."

Plan would put price on greenhouse gases

Last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a plan to fight climate change by charging polluters $10 per tonne of carbon emitted.

Premier Brad Wall has been a fierce critic of Ottawa's carbon pricing plan. (Neil Cochrane/CBC)

The amount of the carbon price would ramp up to $50 per tonne between 2018 and 2022.

From the beginning, Premier Brad Wall has been vociferous critic of what he calls a carbon tax.

Wall calls the federal plan a job-killer that will hurt the economy at a time when the resource sector is struggling.

Carbon dioxide generated by burning fossil fuels is causing climate change and global warming, scientists say.

9 other resolutions up for debate

The carbon pricing resolution was one of 10 SUMA delegates dealt with this week.

The other nine (and what happened with the vote) are:

  1. Post-flood debris (passed): The delegates want the province to start a program to clean up lakes and other waterways in Saskatchewan following flooding and other natural disasters that may lead to floating debris.
  2. Water storage (defeated): Resolution calls on relaxing the requirements for water storage so certain communities would only need a one-day supply stored, rather than a two-day supply. 
  3. Firefighting equipment (passed): Calls on the province to make all firefighting equipment exempt from the provincial sales tax.
  4. Adding unpaid fines to tax rolls (passed): Legislative change is proposed to let municipalities recoup unpaid fines through the courts.
  5. Adding building permit fees to tax rolls (passed): Legislative change is proposed to let municipalities recoup unpaid building permit fees through the courts.
  6. National disaster aid (passed): Delegates want to be able to tap into a national disaster mitigation program.
  7. Staggered elections for councillors (defeated): Plan would have half of councillors elected every two years, instead of all of them every four years.
  8. Water quality (passed): Calls on the province to review rules to protect public safety and integrity of municipal water sources.
  9. Taxes in provincial parks (passed): SUMA wants to ensure that provincial park residents building large homes are paying "their fair share" of property taxes.

The SUMA convention wrapped up on Wednesday.

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