Wall criticizes attempt to link carbon policy with provincial transfer payments
Premier Brad Wall speaks with members of the media following the 2017 budget speech at the Legislative Building in Regina Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Wall is taking a turf war with Alberta to its economic heart, inviting energy companies based in Calgary to move their headquarters to his province.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor.
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, May 8, 2017 2:40PM EDT
REGINA -- Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says any attempt by Ottawa to link the money it transfers to a province with that province's carbon tax policy would be a serious attack on federal-provincial relations.
Wall says in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that such action violates the principles of fiscal federalism and calls the threat unacceptable.
Trudeau has said all provinces must set up a cap-and-trade system or impose a price on carbon of at least $10 per tonne starting next year -- increasing to $50 by 2022 -- or Ottawa will do it for them.
Saskatchewan opposes a carbon tax.
The premier says memos obtained by an online publication show the federal government intends to tie a province's stance on carbon tax to equalization renegotiations scheduled for 2019.
Equalization is a program that transfers money from richer to poorer provinces so that they can offer government services at levels similar to elsewhere.