Premier Scott Moe would like to see Ottawa wait on imposing the carbon tax until Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal rules on whether it's constitutional.
In the meantime, the Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan says they will be collecting the money, holding it in trust, and depending on the court case, either sending it to the Federal Government or rebating it back to their customers.
He notes one area the Federal Carbon Tax is expected to hit hard is Agriculture.
“It’s going to depend on the size of the farm, it’s going to depend on the number of buildings that a farmer would have within their operation that are all, especially this time of year, being powered and heated as well. It will depend year by year depending on how much grain drying takes place. The Federal Government had been saying all along that farming, that agriculture would be exempt from the Carbon Tax and while that may be true on a very narrow basis meaning farm fuel that exemption does not apply to your power bill, it’s not applying to your SaskEnergy bill and it’s not applying either on if you have some custom grain hauling done That trucker is going to pay the tax on their fuel and it’s not going to be exempt for the railway either.”
He notes for the average SaskPower residential customer it will mean an increase of $18 this year, rising to $63 in 2022.
SaskPower expects individual industrial customers will be paying on average an additional $164,600 this year, rising to $617,500 in 2022.
SaskEnergy says customers can expect an additional charge of $109 more this year for the average residential customer, with an increase of about $54 per year through 2022.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to a Regina Canadian Tire store today (Tuesday, March 5) was canceled.
He was expected to highlight how Saskatchewan residents could choose to use their Climate Action Incentive Payments to save money at home.
Trudeau is returning to Ottawa for private meetings.