Sask. Premier reacts to feds' carbon tax easing

Ottawa eases carbon tax thresholds to help Canada’s big industries compete

Ottawa eases carbon tax thresholds to help Canada’s big industries compete

The federal carbon pricing system for heavy emitters, softened last week to ease the impact on Canadian industry, could be amended even further this fall as Ottawa looks to address competitiveness fears in corporate Canada fuelled by USA tax cuts, tariffs and environmental policy roll backs.

Dennis Darby, president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters lobby group, said the government's plan to trim the carbon levy was prudent.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but Ottawa softening the carbon tax on heavy emitters does not change the stance of Premier Scott Moe, and by association, the Saskatchewan government.

At a news conference on Thursday, two of Ford's senior cabinet ministers said they were filing papers at the Ontario Court of Appeal to challenge the constitutionality of the federal government setting rules in place to require polluters to pay.

In one of his first moves as Ontario's premier, Doug Ford announced his province would be getting out of their cap-and-trade system and vowed to go to court, along with Saskatchewan, to fight Ottawa's carbon-tax plan.

Catherine McKenna sat down with Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips on July 18, the first time since the Progressive Conservatives won a majority government in the spring provincial election. Emissions intensity measures greenhouse gases per unit of production. Mr. Ford has said that ending cap-and-trade will reduce electrical bills and gasoline prices.

Because the law is not being applied to all province's and territories, just those that don't put in their own carbon tax, the factum argues the law "is constitutionally illegitimate".

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"This is a sensible approach for both the environment and the economy", Mr. Elgie said.

The draft regulations finalizing the industrial component of Canada's carbon pricing scheme are also expected this fall, with the final regulations not expected until the summer of 2019.

Most firms that produce 50 megatons of carbon dioxide or similar levels of pollution a year won't face any penalties until their emissions reach 80 per cent of the average within their specific industry.

Ottawa's new carbon plan still doesn't work, won't reduce environmental outcomes and will cost jobs, said Moe.

Taxing above 10 to 20 per cent would hurt a company's ability to innovate and find a viable solution, Elgie said.

Industry response on Wednesday to Ottawa's move was muted.

The oil and gas business was not included on the special treatment list. Trudeau has said carbon pricing is essential as other nations move forward on measures to prevent global warming, and that Canada will remain competitive even as the USA loosens environmental protections. "Picking certain sectors to give preferential treatment to, without a rationale that's transparent, is problematic and seems to have a political lens on it", Chief Executive Officer Tim McMillan said in an interview.

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