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Regina chapter calls on Saskatchewan premier to act on climate change


The Council of Canadians Regina chapter is calling on Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall to take action on climate change.

On Feb. 17, the Globe and Mail reported, “Ottawa is aiming to work out a deal with the provinces over the next six months to set a national minimum carbon price of at least $15 per tonne. …The $15-a-tonne levy is seen as a modest effort by environmentalists and economists, who argue it will take a much higher carbon price to meet Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.” But the Financial Post reports, “Wall told [says] he ‘will not be signing’ any carbon tax agreement with the federal or other provincial governments when the premiers meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later this week.”

In a letter to the editor published in the Regina Leader-Post today, chapter activist Jim Elliott writes, “It’s time for Premier Brad Wall to turn over the coin that is the federal government’s Action on Climate Change plan and see that, rather than an imposition and tax, it is an opportunity, a growth and resiliency measure that will happen somewhere. So why not here?” The Leap Manifesto, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Green Budget Coalition (which includes the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace, Ecojustice, and West Coast Environmental Law) all support the call for a progressive carbon tax.

Elliott adds, “Estevan is the solar capital of the country, the sunniest place in Canada to implement a wholesale conversion from fossil fuels to renewables. Many of the skills associated with the oil industry could be converted to long-term regional opportunities and benefits. …Gone is the day when money was flowing and we could do no wrong. The sooner Wall either joins the others or gets out of the way, the easier will be the transition to a low-carbon economy, locally generated energy conservation and being a supplier of green electricity to Alberta or south of the border.”

In making these points, Elliott echoes some of the key demands in the Leap Manifesto, including: “The latest research shows we could get 100% of our electricity from renewable resources within two decades” and “We want training and resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to participate in the clean energy economy”.

And just as Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has highlighted, “We can’t talk about climate policies without first discussing water and the myriad of threats to its protection”, Elliott concludes his letter to the editor with, “Will Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw have enough water in the future? Ask Wall.”

Premier Wall is in Vancouver now for the first ministers meeting on climate change.

To read Elliott’s letter to the editor, please click here.

Further reading
Council of Canadians calls on first ministers to “leap” at March 3 summit in Vancouver (Feb. 11, 2016)