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Saskatchewan set to defy Trudeau gov’t, stop collecting carbon tax on electric home heat

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Premier Scott Moe is ignoring a threat from Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he could serve jail time for failing to impose the tax

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe now says that starting January 1 his province will no longer collect a federally imposed carbon tax on electric heat in addition to natural gas despite a threat from the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he could serve jail time should he defy the feds.

Moe and Saskatchewan Party MLA Jim Lemaigreas made the announcement last Thursday in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter).

“We are going to need to determine who is heating their home with electricity and then estimate the percentage of their power bill that is being used for that heat,” Moe said.

Moe added that his government is working out how to stop collecting the carbon tax on electric home heat. Regardless, anyone using electric heat in the province or natural gas to warm their home will not pay a federal carbon tax.

According to Moe, extending the carbon tax exemption to electric heat makes sense because 15% of people in the province use it to heat their homes. The other 85% use natural gas to heat their homes.

January and February can bring brutally cold temperatures to many parts of the province, and natural gas-fired furnaces are best at handling extreme temperatures. However, many in the province, especially those in the north, use electric heaters to heat their homes.

Moe noted how Saskatchewan owns its natural gas utility SaskEnergy, which by extension means taxpayers own it. He said the move to stop collecting the tax is ideal given the province controls its utilities, which acts as a safeguard from federal overreach.

“Well, we also own the electrical utility, and that’s why our government has decided that SaskPower will also stop collecting the carbon tax on electric heat,” Moe said.

On October 30, Moe first announced that he would stop collecting the carbon tax on home heating starting January 1, after Trudeau suspended his carbon tax on home heating oil, which is almost exclusively used in Atlantic Canada to heat homes, and not in his province.

Moe promised that if the exemption was not extended to all other forms of home heating in his province, he would tell SaskEnergy, which is a Crown corporation that provides energy to all residents, to stop collecting the carbon tax on natural gas. This, Moe said, would effectively provide “Saskatchewan residents with the very same exemption that the federal government has given heating oil in Atlantic Canada.”

Moe’s government has gone as far as introducing legislation to back the scrapping of the federal carbon tax on natural gas. The legislation will shield all executives at SaskEnergy from being jailed or fined by the federal government if they stop collecting the tax.

The Trudeau Liberal government, however, has refused to rule out jail time for Moe if he refuses to collect the carbon tax on home heating.

On November 3, Liberal Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland avoided  directly answering whether Moe would be criminally charged for refusing to collect Trudeau’s controversial carbon tax for home heating within the province.

Trudeau has said that “Canada is a country of the rule of law, and we expect all Canadians to follow the law,” he said.

“That applies to provinces as much as it applies to individual citizens,” he added.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith is also fighting Trudeau’s carbon tax and has vowed to use every tool available to her government to take him on.

Indeed, after Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault brushed off Smith’s invocation of the “Sovereignty Act” as being merely “symbolic,” the Alberta leader warned him that her province will be building new gas-fired power plants regardless of his new “clean energy” rules.

Moe has court rulings to back up his defiance of Trudeau in asserting provincial autonomy

Two recent court rulings dealt a serious blow to the Trudeau government’s environmental activism via legislation by asserting the provinces have autonomy when it comes to how they use and develop their own natural resources.

The most recent was when the Federal Court of Canada on November 16 overturned the Trudeau government’s ban on single-use plastic, calling it “unreasonable and unconstitutional.”

The Federal Court ruled in favor of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan by stating that Trudeau’s government had overstepped its authority by classifying plastic as “toxic” as well as banning all single-use plastic items, like straws, bags, and eating utensils.

The second victory for Alberta and Saskatchewan concerns a Supreme Court ruling that stated that Trudeau’s law, C-69, dubbed the “no more pipelines” bill, is “mostly unconstitutional.” The decision returned authority over the pipelines to provincial governments, meaning oil and gas projects headed up by the provinces should be allowed to proceed without federal intrusion.

A draft version of the federal government’s new Clean Energy Regulations (CERs) introduced by Guilbeault projects billions in higher costs associated with a so-called “green” power transition, especially in the resource-rich provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, which use natural gas and coal to fuel power plants.

Business executives in Alberta’s energy sector have also sounded the alarm over the Trudeau government’s “green” transition, saying it could lead to unreliability in the power grid.

The Trudeau government’s current environmental goals – in lockstep with the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – include phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades.

The reduction and eventual elimination of the use of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda – an organization in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet members  are involved.

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Economy

Taxpayer watchdog slams Trudeau gov’t for increasing debt ceiling: ‘Put down the credit card’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland authorized an additional $73 billion in borrowing this fiscal year.

After Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland gave herself and the government the authority to borrow an additional $73 billion this fiscal year, the head of the nation’s leading taxpayer watchdog group said the federal government needs to “put down the credit card” and return to common-sense spending.

Freeland, as per a February 15 cabinet order made under the Financial Administration Act, allowed the extra borrowing to take place.

The government has set “$517 billion to be the maximum aggregate principal amount of money that may be borrowed” before April 1. Before this cabinet order, however, the maximum amount was $444 billion.

Despite Freeland claiming that the increase in borrowing is “in no way a blank cheque,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano said the borrowing needs to end.

“The Trudeau government needs to put down the credit card and pick up some scissors,” Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews.

“The government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.”

In 2021, Canada’s Parliament raised the federal debt borrowing amount by a whopping 56% under the Borrowing Authority Act. The amount went from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion.

“What it does is set a ceiling for how much the government can spend,” Freeland said at the time.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that the Trudeau government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.

Terrazzano observed that in the coming year the Trudeau government will be spending “more money on debt interest charges than it sends to the provinces in health transfers.”

“In a handful of years, every penny collected from the GST (Goods and Service Tax) will go toward paying interest on the debt,” he noted.

Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, due to excessive COVID money printing, inflation has skyrocketed.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that fast-rising food costs in Canada have led to many people feeling a sense of “hopelessness and desperation” with nowhere to turn for help, according to the Canadian government’s own National Advisory Council on Poverty.

Last year, the Bank of Canada acknowledged that Trudeau’s federal “climate change” programs, which have been deemed “extreme” by some provincial leaders, are indeed helping to fuel inflation.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that Trudeau should “completely scrap his carbon tax,” which is making everything more expensive.

Conservatives blast increased debt

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs have been critical of the raised debt ceiling. “You’re simply saying, ‘Give me a blank cheque and then trust me,’” MP Ed Fast said.

Freeland claimed that the “characterization of the borrowing authority limit as a blank cheque is simply false.”

CPC leader Pierre Poilievre recently asked, “Is there a dollar figure to which she would limit the debt?”

She replied that the government is “mindful that limits exist.”

During a February 13 Senate national finance committee meeting, Budget Officer Yves Giroux noted how Trudeau’s cabinet plans in terms of spending are not clear.

“We don’t know exactly what the government plans on spending or doing in terms of new spending or potential spending,” he said when asked by Senator Elizabeth Marshall if the new borrowing limits are “still realistic.”

Marshall added, “As it stands now, do you think it looks reasonable?”

“It looks sufficient, but the government always wants to give itself some room to maneuver in case there are unforeseen events that require borrowing on short notice,” Giroux replied.

A report from September 5, 2023, by Statistics Canada shows food prices are rising faster than headline inflation at a rate of between 10% and 18% per year.

According to a recent Statistics Canada survey of supermarket prices, Canadians are paying 12% more for carrots, 14% more for hamburger (ground meat), and 27% more for baby formula.

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Economy

Ottawa should scrap its oil and gas emissions cap plan

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From the Fraser Institute

By Elmira Aliakbari and Julio Mejía

Ottawa’s proposed GHG cap, which solely targets the oil and gas industry while exempting the remaining 73.4 per cent of the country’s GHG emissions, lacks a scientific rationale.

Once again, Alberta is at odds with the federal government, this time over proposed regulations, which would impose a cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the oil and gas sector, with the goal of reducing emissions by 35 to 38 per cent by 2030 (relative to 2019 levels).

The Smith government fiercely opposes these regulations and recently submitted formal feedback to Ottawa. While the federal government says these regulations are necessary to combat climate change, in the reality they will impose significant costs on Canadians without yielding detectable environmental benefits.

Firstly, it’s a universally accepted fact that a unit of carbon dioxide has the same atmospheric effect regardless of its source, be it from an oilsands mine in Alberta, a manufacturer in Quebec or a steel mill in Ontario. CO2 is CO2 is CO2. Therefore, Ottawa’s proposed GHG cap, which solely targets the oil and gas industry while exempting the remaining 73.4 per cent of the country’s GHG emissions, lacks a scientific rationale.

Moreover, Canada already has a national carbon tax aimed at reducing GHG emissions. Stacking a GHG cap on top of the carbon tax contradicts the rationale for a carbon tax and would likely result in emissions reduction at a very high cost. According to a recent economic analysis by the Conference Board of Canada, the cap could reduce Canada’s economy (i.e. GDP) by up to $1 trillion between 2030 and 2040, eliminate up to 151,000 jobs by 2030, reduce federal government revenue by up to $151 billion between 2030 and 2040, and reduce Alberta government revenue by up to $127 billion over the same period.

These new findings echo earlier studies, which show the proposed cap’s large costs and little benefits. For instance, a recent study found that an emissions cap on the oil and gas sector would inevitably reduce production and exports, leading to at least $45 billion in lost economic activity in 2030 alone, accompanied by a substantial drop in government revenue.

Again, these large economic costs come with almost no discernible environmental benefit. Even if Canada were to entirely shut down its oil and gas sector by 2030, thus eliminating all GHG emissions from the sector, the resulting reduction in global GHG emissions would amount to a mere four-tenths of one per cent (i.e. 0.004 per cent) with virtually no impact on the climate or any detectable environmental, health or safety benefits.

Meanwhile, every credible forecast of world energy consumption indicates that oil and gas will continue to dominate the global energy supply mix for decades. Given the sustained demand for fossil fuels, constraining oil and gas production and exports in Canada would merely shift production to other regions, potentially to countries with lower environmental and human rights standards such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela.

Clearly, this is an opportunity for Canada, which possesses abundant reserves of natural gas (a cleaner alternative to coal), to play a pivotal role in reducing global GHG emissions. Countries such as China, which is grappling with rising energy demands, are eager to reduce their heavy reliance on coal. And several countries including Germany want to diversify away from Russian gas for geopolitical and energy security reasons. By expanding our natural gas resources, Canada could unleash significant economic activity (jobs, revenue, etc.) while reducing global GHG emissions and improving global energy security.

The Trudeau government will likely publish a draft version of the regulations, which will include the cap, sometime in the next few months. The cap plan lacks any scientific, economic or environmental rationale so the government should scrap the cap for the benefit of Canadians and the world.

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