Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said that his government plans to end the carbon tax on natural gas heating after the federal government announced they would put a three-year pause on carbon pricing for oil heating.
“Today I am calling on the federal government to offer the same carbon tax exemption to Saskatchewan families by extending it to all forms of home heating, not just heating oil. It’s only fair to other Saskatchewan and Canadian families,” said Moe in a video statement.
“Hopefully, that exemption will be provided soon. But if not, effective Jan. 1, SaskEnergy will stop collecting and submitting the carbon tax on natural gas – effectively providing Saskatchewan residents with the very same exemption that the federal government is giving heating oil in Atlantic Canada.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a three-year pause on oil heating in rural areas where it is the sole option last Friday.
“If you live in a rural community, you don’t have the same options that people who live in cities do. We get that,” said Trudeau while making the announcement. “So, this is more money in your pocket to recognize those realities, even as we continue to fight climate change.”
Oil heating is predominantly used in Atlantic Canada, while natural gas heating is more common throughout the rest of Canada.
Trudeau’s announcement to pause the federal surcharge on oil heating prompted several premiers to demand he do the same in their provinces for homes heated with natural gas.
“The federal government may say that’s illegal and that you simply cannot choose to collect and pay your tax. In most cases I would agree with that,” said Moe. “But it’s the federal government that’s created two classes of taxpayer by providing an exemption for heating oil – an exemption that really only applies in one part of the country and effectively excludes Saskatchewan.”
Moe said that an exemption for oil but not gas was unjust for residents of Saskatchewan.
”As premier, it’s my job to ensure Saskatchewan residents are treated fairly and equally with our fellow Canadians in other parts of the country,” he said. “And that’s what I’m doing today.”
In 2021, the Saskatchewan provincial government challenged Ottawa’s federal carbon pricing in the Supreme Court of Canada. However, the court ruled against the province, stating that the tax was constitutional.
On Monday, the Saskatchewan NDP called for a motion for the federal government to remove carbon pricing on all forms of home heating after Question Period, which passed unanimously.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre also wrote an open letter to Trudeau on Monday asking him to extend the pause to all homes heating with natural gas.