May 19, 2024

Canada names Saskatchewan gas supplier in province's fight against carbon tax -February 20, 2024 9:15 pm

The Canada Revenue Agency has approved Saskatchewan's request to register the provincial government as the province's natural gas distributor to replace state-owned SaskEnergy, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Saskatchewan is protesting that the federal government's carbon tax is unfair and places an undue burden on Canadians already struggling with inflation.

Spokesman Sam Sass said the province has not yet decided whether to pay the January residential carbon tax due this month.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a Liberal, faces opposition to his climate policies from conservative provinces such as Saskatchewan and Alberta, which have imposed a carbon tax on the use of fuels that produce greenhouse gas emissions.

In January, Saskatchewan stopped charging homes heated by natural gas and electricity after the Trudeau government exempted them from the heating oil tax, benefiting Atlantic residents.

The provincial government will only break the law if it fails to transfer carbon tax revenue to Ottawa in February as scheduled. It proposes to pay from public revenue rather than consumer payments.

Saskatchewan said the Canada Revenue Agency required the government to register as a natural gas distributor to protect SaskEnergy executives from possible fines and criminal charges.

Why is this important?

Trudeau's Liberals have fallen out of favor with voters ahead of elections expected in 2025.

One of Trudeau's biggest weaknesses is the rising cost of living. Some provincial and federal Conservative leaders accuse him of being out of the loop.

What's next?

Saskatchewan will decide whether to pay January's carbon tax before the February payment deadline, Sasse said.

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Answer

The Canada Revenue Agency said it could not immediately comment on the matter. (Reporting by Rod Nickell in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Sandra Maler)