POLITICS
03/04/2019 20:58 EST | Updated 03/04/2019 21:05 EST

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe Wants To Hold Off Carbon Tax Pending Appeal Court Decision

The province says the plan is unconstitutional.

Michael Bell/CP
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks during a pro-pipeline rally at IJACK Technologies Inc. near Moosomin, Sask., on Feb. 16, 2019.

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is asking Ottawa to hold off on imposing a carbon tax next month until the province's Court of Appeal has ruled on its constitutionality.

Saskatchewan is challenging the federal government's ability to levy such a charge.

It argues Ottawa's plan is unconstitutional because it does not respect provincial sovereignty and will not be evenly applied across all jurisdictions.

Ottawa argues it can impose the tax on April 1 because climate change is a national issue.

Nathan Denette/CP
Trudeau speaks to the media and students about the federally-imposed carbon tax in Toronto on Oct. 23, 2018.

Moe said Monday he has requested to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is expected to be in Saskatchewan this week. But Moe doesn't believe Trudeau's agenda will give him time for a sit-down.

Besides support for farming, mining and manufacturing, Moe said he would also raise the issue of Bill C-69, the federal legislation that would overhaul energy project reviews, and the carbon tax with Trudeau.

"I would ask again for the federal government to hold off and allow the court some time with respect to making their decision with the reference that we put in front of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal," he said.

"This is the right thing to do."

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Saskatchewan's Opposition NDP leader, Ryan Meili, said Moe's request for a delay pending the court ruling is reasonable.

The government said Monday that ratepayers can expect to see their monthly SaskPower and SaskEnergy bills rise as a result of the carbon tax. Starting April 1, it said the average residential customers will pay $2 extra a month for power and $9 for natural gas.

Customers can expect to see these increases marked on their bills as coming from the carbon tax.

Meili said adding this new line on customers' bills is a political move on the part of the government.

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