Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall renews attacks on possibility of federal carbon tax, defends Energy East – by Sean Craig (Financial Post – June 15, 2016)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall renewed his attacks on the idea of a federal carbon tax Tuesday, suggesting that attempts to put a price on carbon could face legal obstacles.

“If the federal government wanted to come with some sort of unilateral carbon tax plan, we think they’re constitutionally restricted from taxing other governments,” he said following a speech on the Energy East pipeline Tuesday afternoon at the Empire Club in downtown Toronto. “In our province that would mean SaskPower and SaskEnergy.”

Wall’s comments come following reports that federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is considering a national carbon tax. Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said part of his government’s energy policy objective is to ensure there is a minimum carbon price across the country.

Wall added that the timing for such a tax is especially bad because the energy industry has been subject to layoffs and low commodity prices.

“Imagine if in 2009 when the auto manufacturing industry was on its knees, shedding thousands of jobs and needing a direct bailout, imagine if a federal government then had proposed a new car manufacturing tax,” he said. “A carbon tax is gonna be disproportionately affecting the energy sector. Now is not the time for us to be talking about a brand new tax that would disproportionately hurt that sector.”

With his approval ratings back home sky-high, the Saskatchewan Premier is on a tour of Central and Eastern Canada, taking his Prairie populism to places where rallying around politicians is less trendy.

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