REGINA – The Saskatchewan government has applied for millions of dollars in federal funding to help fight climate change, even though the province admits it’s ineligible because it has refused to sign onto Ottawa’s carbon tax strategy.
The province says in a statement that it submitted 11 projects totalling more than $200 million by Monday’s deadline for consideration under the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund.
It says the projects would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy and power production, water, forests and agriculture by an estimated 188 million tonnes.
Saskatchewan would be in line for $62 million if it were part of the federal carbon tax plan.
But the Saskatchewan Party government says it didn’t sign on because the province’s residents and business community object to the federal tax.
In April, Premier Scott Moe asked the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to rule on whether imposing a carbon tax on his province would be unconstitutional.
The federal program includes a $1.4-billion fund for provinces and territories that have signed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
“Saskatchewan’s climate change strategy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions without a carbon tax,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said in the statement Wednesday.
“Our … submissions should be equally considered for this federal funding and $62 million should be returned to our province to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
A report by Environment and Climate Change Canada released last month said Ottawa’s carbon-pricing plan could eliminate up to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2022, but whether that actually happens still depends on what the provinces do.
The report was the latest attempt by the federal government to sell its carbon-pricing policy.
“Our analysis confirms that carbon pricing works, that it significantly reduces pollution,” federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said at the time.