Federal response to province unfair, unjust

Weyburn Review editorial

If Saskatchewan residents had any wavering doubts about whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau truly despises the West, their doubts were laid to rest as the federal government rejected Saskatchewan’s latest proposal for carbon pricing.

Trudeau has consistently ignored the wishes, plans and needs of the West, and has made no secret of the animosity of his government towards the energy industry.

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Even the results of the last federal election which saw no Liberals elected from Saskatchewan and Alberta, including the loss of perennial Liberal Ralph Goodale, didn’t get through to him that he and the Liberals need to be fair to all Canadians, not just those in Ontario and Quebec.

Premier Scott Moe was exactly right when he commented that this latest decision by the Liberals to ignore Saskatchewan was arbitrary and political, and had nothing whatsoever to do with helping the environment or in cutting emissions, or anything else that Trudeau has stated about their “carbon pricing” policies.

The federal carbon tax is hurting businesses and residents in Saskatchewan, which again Trudeau could care less about, and it will only get worse as it’s increased in the coming months and years.

This was precisely the point that Saskatchewan wanted addressed, how the carbon tax is regressive and punitive, and will in fact not do a single thing towards helping the environment.

Rather than take any consideration for what the province is proposing, the federal government instead responded that they were “pleased” that Saskatchewan is showing an interest. Now the province has to wait inexplicably for another two years, suffering under the current carbon tax level which will now only become more onerous.

The biggest insult in the letter back to Saskatchewan was in saying the feds aim to have policies that are “fair and rigorous” in regard to carbon pricing.

There is nothing “fair” in the pricing now, and it will only get worse as it’s increased, and will hike the costs of food, gas and nearly everything else for the residents of Saskatchewan.

The feds also specifically said they will not allow any reduction in the taxes on gas, as if this is supposed to reduce people’s use of vehicles. Nobody in Ontario and Quebec is reducing their need for gas, and nobody here in the West is either – vehicles are necessity in a geographic area like Saskatchewan, and that includes truckers and farmers, and businesses in general.

Alberta’s premier pointed out that Saskatchewan proposed the same plan as the eastern provinces, a plan that was accepted, proving further that Trudeau’s policies are unfair, unjust and are hurtful to the West.