Article submitted by Josh Andrus of Project Confederation
A lot of media attention of late has been focused on the Emergencies Act testimonies in Ottawa and Danielle Smith’s rise to the Premier’s Office here in Alberta.
However, the biggest development in federal/provincial politics in the last week might actually have happened in Saskatchewan, where Premier Scott Moe has taken a firm stance against the federal government in a document entitled Drawing the Line: Defending Saskatchewan’s Economic Autonomy.
The paper clearly sets out a problem and then proposes specific solutions.
First, the problem…
The Saskatchewan government has identified nine different federal climate change policies that are estimated to cost the province a total of $111 billion between 2022 and 2035 – the approximate halfway point to the federal government’s 2050 net-zero targets.
The costs of each of the nine policies are:
- Federal Carbon Tax: $24.7 billion;
- Oil and Gas Methane Mandate: $6.3 billion;
- Oil and Gas Emissions Cap: $2.6 billion;
- Fertilizer Mandate: $19.3 billion;
- Clean Fuel Regulations: $34.9 billion;
- Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate: $10.3 billion;
- Federal Output Based Pricing System: $12.5 billion;
- Agriculture Methane Initiatives: $0.5 billion;
- Landfill Methane Mandate: $0.2 billion.
Don’t forget – these are just the direct costs.
We all know that the energy industry powers every other industry and, since energy is required to create almost every other product, as energy prices increase, costs for consumer goods will undoubtedly rise across the board as well.
Scott Moe and his team have a clear understanding of the problem and are deeply concerned about the impacts federal environmental policy can have on the economy.
For a province like Saskatchewan, where total provincial revenue for 2022 was just $17.2 billion, $111 billion is a gigantic cost.
And if that’s the cost to our neighbours, imagine what it will cost here in Alberta!
Remember too, this is just the first half of the federal government’s 2050 plan!
The economic costs of Net Zero 2050 are completely lost on the Trudeau government.
The 2021 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the constitutionality of the Carbon Tax, as we noted at the time, creates a dangerous precedent where the federal government can essentially trample all over the constitutional jurisdiction of provinces using the Peace, Order, and Good Governance Clause embedded in the constitution.
This means that the Supreme Court has effectively ruled that the federal government can take control of practically any issue, simply by claiming that it is a matter of national concern – completely ignoring provincial jurisdiction.
Consider that the definition of Confederation, as espoused by the Oxford English Dictionary, is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action.
Instead, what we now have is a federal government that has decided, upon the alter of climate change, to sacrifice our livelihoods and, with them, the very idea of Canada itself.
If we want to save this country, we need substantial reforms to the way this country is governed.
Thankfully, the Saskatchewan government’s paper also proposes some solutions that include:
- Provincial legislation to clarify and protect constitutional rights belonging to the province.
- Pursuing greater autonomy over immigration policy to ensure Saskatchewan has the people it needs.
- Better recognition of Saskatchewan industry’s contributions to sustainable growth – for example, developing a carbon credit market to support our natural resource industries.
- Preparing to take legal actions, legislative or otherwise, to maintain control of electricity, fertilizer emission/use targets and oil and gas emissions/production.
Here at Project Confederation, we’re very supportive of these ideas – in fact, many of them are ideas we’ve been promoting not just for Alberta, but for all of the west, since we launched as an organization.
So, props to Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan government for pushing us down the right path.
With your continued support, we can’t help but be excited about what we are capable of as we move forward.
Having seen significant success in Alberta already, we will be expanding our work all across Saskatchewan and the other western provinces in the coming months, as we take on Ottawa and prepare for the onslaught of a hostile federal government over the next few years.
If you’d like to get involved in our campaigns, you can sign up to volunteer with us here.
We also need financial support to continue with our work.
If you can afford to help fund our important work, please click here to make a contribution:
Thank you again to everyone for their help with this campaign and we look forward to working with you on many more issues in the future.
Province orders dismissal of Chestermere Mayor, three councillors, and all three CAO’s
City of Chestermere/Facebook)
City of Chestermere councillors and senior staff dismissed
Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver has issued a ministerial order dismissing four of the City of Chestermere’s municipal councillors and all three chief administrative officers (CAOs).
After the city failed to comply with the supervision of the official administrator and some of the minister’s directives that have been in place since March 15, 2023, Minister McIver has dismissed Mayor Jeff Colvin, Coun. Mel Foat, Coun. Blaine Funk and Coun. Stephen Hanley, as well as the three CAOs.
The directives, intended to restore good governance to the City of Chestermere, were issued following a municipal inspection. Since then, the city has continued to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
“The directives issued by my predecessor are not onerous and represent the bare minimum that citizens ought to expect from their municipal government. However, after undertaking all reasonable efforts to have the city comply with its obligations, it has failed to do so. I am profoundly disappointed that it has come to this, but the people of Chestermere deserve better. This community should be able to have trust in its local elected government.”
While the minister determined that the city has failed to comply with its obligations, he has also determined that dismissal of Coun. Shannon Dean, Coun. Sandy Johal-Watt and Coun. Ritesh Narayan was not justified given their efforts to hold council to account and attempt to move council in a more positive direction toward proper governance practices and compliance with legislation.
Councillors Dean, Johal-Watt and Narayan remain as elected councillors but will have no role in the governance of the city until a byelection is held and council quorum is restored.
The ministerial order dismissing Chestermere council members and senior administration is effective Dec. 4. An official administrator and interim CAO are in place to oversee the City of Chestermere’s governance and operations until a byelection is held to elect new councillors for the vacant positions at a date to be determined in 2024.
- A municipal inspection was ordered by the minister of Municipal Affairs under the Municipal Government Act (Section 571) in May 2022.
- The independent inspection, which concluded in September 2022, found the City of Chestermere to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
- An official administrator was appointed in September 2022 to supervise the municipality and its council.
- On March 15, 2023, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued 12 binding directives through a ministerial order requiring the City of Chestermere to take action to address key areas of concern.
- On Oct. 18, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued to the City of Chestermere a notice of intent to issue a ministerial order which would dismiss all seven council members from office, as well as all three CAOs.
Premier Smith reacts to Liberal Government’s announcement on new methane reduction targets at COP 28
Federal methane emissions targets: Joint statement
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk”
Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz issued the following statement on the federal government’s proposed methane emissions regulations:
“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines. Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career.
“Managing emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is our constitutional right and responsibility, not Ottawa’s, and we are getting the job done. Using a province-led approach, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45 per cent – hitting our target three years early – and we’re just getting started.
“Meanwhile, not only is it illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate our industries in this manner, Ottawa also hasn’t even hit one of its past arbitrary and unscientific emissions targets largely because it has little to no credible expertise regulating the natural resource, agricultural and other industry sectors in this space.
“Ottawa could have helped us keep reducing emissions with joint incentive programs in line with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. It could have listened to the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Impact Assessment Act was unconstitutional and abandoned this kind of arrogant and ineffective scheme. Instead, these new regulations threaten our successful province-led approach and impede good work that’s already underway.
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk. A total ban would also be costly, resulting in shut-ins and loss of production.
“This approach will also cost tens of billions in infrastructure upgrades, yet Ottawa has provided virtually no financial support to do so. Thousands of Albertans could be put out of work in the coming years due to these costly regulations. A federal government willing to invest $37.7 billion into just three battery plants in Ontario and Quebec cannot credibly refuse to provide tax credits and financial incentives for producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan to assist with achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
“For years, Alberta, not Ottawa, has done the hard work and achieved results. We strongly support reducing methane emissions and have invested tens of millions into developing these technologies. Minister Guilbeault must work with us, and not against us, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province.”
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