'We can't forget the economy': Premier Brad Wall on climate change talks

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall isn't wasting the opportunity to have his government's priorities heard by a national audience.

Wall says 'we need to do better' on climate change, but concerned about impact on energy sector

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall speaks to reporters in Ottawa on Monday. (CBC)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall isn't wasting the opportunity to have his government's priorities heard by a national audience.

Canada's premiers have gathered in Ottawa for the first sit down meeting with Canada's prime minister in nearly seven years.

One major item on the agenda appears to be climate change. Next week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Wall will be at the UN climate change conference in Paris, known as COP21.

Premier Wall is hoping to bring the economy to the table and discuss the thousands of layoffs that have occurred in the energy sector in Western Canada.

While addressing national media this morning, Wall pointed out the number of middle class families going into Christmas without a job.

"There has not been a lot of coverage about that, a lot of attention paid to these massive layoffs in Canada," Wall said. "I wonder if that might be the case were it in another sector in the country. I don't know if it would."

Wall said Saskatchewan needs to do better in terms of its record on climate change, but he added, "we can't forget the economy."

"We cannot forget the jobs that quite literally are at stake in a sector that's undergoing a lot of stress right now due to $40 oil," the premier said. 

"Those jobs are broadening our tax base and paying for the quality of life that we want for all Canadians."

Going into the Paris meetings, Wall said any climate change agreements made as a country need to consider the impact they could have on jobs.

"What additional impact will that have on the energy sector, which is already suffering massive layoffs in our country. I think that's a reasonable question to ask," Wall said.

"We need to go to Paris with a plan, but let's make sure that that plan understands completely what impact we might be having on Saskatchewan, Alberta, Albertan, Canadian families that depend on the energy sector for their livelihoods."

Wall, who has previously said "it's time to revisit the issue" of nuclear power, tweeted this Monday morning:


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