Saskatchewan Provincial Budget, 2021

“I have five minutes”

Copy and paste this text into an email.
Send it to premier@gov.sk.ca and fin.minister@gov.sk.ca. Add your MLA’s email as well. “Who is my MLA?”

As a Saskatchewan resident and a Canadian citizen, I am deeply disappointed and disturbed by the stance taken by your government, both in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on carbon pricing, and in this year’s budget.

The best available science, as set out in the IPCC special report of 2018, tells us that the world’s carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced by at least 45% by 2030 and brought to zero by mid-century.  We also know that wealthy industrialised countries need to move even faster than that global average.  As a driver of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, Saskatchewan has a particular responsibility.  

Subsidies to the oil and gas industry through royalty relief will increase our contribution to the climate crisis.  Why not develop plans to transition fossil workers to other types of work?

Instead of taxing electric vehicles, we should provide subsidies and develop high-speed charging stations.

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMNRs) are a dangerous distraction from the change that needs to happen.  That technology will not be ready for years (if ever).  Wind, solar and comprehensive efficiency measures could all be implemented now.  

Leading economists tells us that offsets are likely to increase emissions.  They are a lazy way out for big emitters, who should be focused on energy efficiency and transition to renewables. 

Using carbon pricing revenues to reduce fuel duties will weaken the price signal and defeat the whole point of carbon pricing.  

The government’s current plans threaten to sabotage the future of our province, and of worldwide ecosystems, in order to protect industries which have no longterm future.

I call on this government to develop a comprehensive and coherent plan for emissions reduction that is consistent with the science and with our international responsibilities, and which enables fossil fuel workers to bring their skills into the zero-carbon economy on which our future depends. 

“I have ten minutes”

Copy and paste this text into an email.
Send it to premier@gov.sk.ca and fin.minister@gov.sk.ca. Add your MLA’s email as well. “Who is my MLA?”

Providing further subsidies to the oil and gas industry through royalty relief will add to Saskatchewan’s contribution to the climate crisis, leading to a more hurried, more difficult transition later.  

Government should be developing plans to transition fossil workers to other types of work, including in the potentially job-rich fields of renewables and energy efficiency.

A tax on electric vehicles sabotages one of the key ways that our transport emissions could be brought under control.  

Government should enable and encourage the shift to electric by providing temporary subsidies and developing a comprehensive network of high-speed charging stations across the province.

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMNRs) are a dangerous distraction.  The technology will not be ready until the 2030s (if ever), and will generate electricity at higher cost than other technologies which could be implemented quickly now – wind, solar, and comprehensive efficiency measures.  

Government should focus on a rapid rollout of these options, such as the devolved government in Scotland has achieved over the last decade.

An offset scheme is likely to actually increase emissions, according to leading economists.  Offsets are a lazy way out for big emitters.

Big emitters should be required to make substantial cuts in their emissions through deep energy efficiency measures and transition to renewables.

Using carbon pricing revenues to reduce fuel duties looks like an act of sabotage.  It weakens the price signal and defeats the whole point of carbon pricing.  And it returns money to heavy polluters instead of distributing it in rebates to everyone (as in the current federal scheme).  

The 10% SaskPower discount will have a similar effect: presumably these funds will then need to be reimbursed from general taxation, so the people of Saskatchewan are subsidising the big polluters.

The other two measures that were listed on the day of the Supreme Court ruling announcement (bringing SaskPower and SaskEnergy under a carbon pricing scheme; seeking finance from the Low Carbon Economy Fund) are both things which could have been done two years ago instead of wasting time and money on a poorly-conceived and ultimately unsuccessful legal challenge. 

“I have twenty minutes”

Send your message to premier@gov.sk.ca and fin.minister@gov.sk.ca. Add your MLA’s email as well. “Who is my MLA?”
%d