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Saskatchewan Unveils Legislation to Cease Collection of Federal Carbon Tax on Home Heating

The bill introduced in the legislature on Nov. 16 would also protect Crown corporation SaskEnergy from any legal consequences of not remitting the carbon tax.

Saskatchewan has introduced a bill that would allow the province to stop collecting the federal carbon tax on natural gas starting in the new year, while also providing legal protection for its energy Crown corporation.

Introduced in the legislature on Nov. 16, The SaskEnergy (Carbon Tax Fairness for Families) Amendment Act, would appoint the provincial government as the sole registered distributor of natural gas in Saskatchewan.

The move is a bid to protect Crown corporation SaskEnergy and all of its current and former directors, officers, employees, and other associates from any legal consequences of not remitting the carbon tax.

“This legislation will give our government, and me as Minister, the sole authority and responsibility for decisions regarding the collection and remittance of the federal carbon tax on SaskEnergy bills while also providing protection for SaskEnergy employees and board members,” Crown Investments Corporation Minister Dustin Duncan said in a Nov. 16 news release.

The bill also clarifies that the government will compensate SaskEnergy directors, employees, agents, and representatives for “damages, costs, charges, and expenses, including legal fees” in connection to any civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative matters they may face in relation to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (Canada), the government said.

The removal of carbon pricing on natural gas bills from residential customers will translate into a $400 savings per year for the average family, according to the government news release.

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“Our government is taking the necessary steps to protect Saskatchewan families’ ability to afford to heat their homes this winter,” Mr. Duncan said in the release, adding that the province believes the carbon tax should be removed “on everything for everyone.”

The legislation is the province’s response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing a pause on the carbon tax for home heating oil, which is used largely in Atlantic Canada.
Mr. Trudeau has resisted calls by Saskatchewan and other provinces to cut the carbon tax on all forms of home heating.
Premier Scott Moe, in an Oct. 30 video posted on social media, said that starting Jan. 1, 2024, SaskEnergy would no longer collect the carbon tax on natural gas if Ottawa did not extend the exemption to natural gas and other forms of home heating.
Removing the federal carbon tax from every type of home heating is something the official opposition NDP supported during an Oct. 30 debate in the Saskatchewan legislature. The NDP also voted for a motion that supported the government’s decision to stop collecting the carbon tax from natural gas as of Jan. 1, if Ottawa did not exempt it.

“Directing SaskEnergy to not collect the federal carbon tax is an extraordinary but justified measure if a deal to restore fairness can’t be found,” NDP leader Carla Beck said during the debate.

The Epoch Times reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office and Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault but did not hear back by publication time.

A recent Angus Reid poll found that two-thirds of Canadians would like to see a carbon tax exemption on all forms of home heating.

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