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Saskatchewan households will continue to receive carbon tax rebate: Trudeau


Households in Saskatchewan will continue to receive Canada Carbon Rebate payments, despite the province refusing to remit the federal carbon price on natural gas, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

Last fall, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe warned that his province would stop collecting the fuel charge from residents in the new year. Then, in late February, the province announced it would no longer remit the carbon price on natural gas to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The federal government pushed back at Saskatchewan at the time, with Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson calling the provincial government "reckless and irresponsible."

He added the provincial government was "attacking the people of Saskatchewan and their wallets," and that while Ottawa would have to "work through the mechanics of it," no remittance would mean no rebates.

"Rebates are paid out based on the collection of funds," he said. "If you're not collecting funds, what are you rebating?"

But on Tuesday, Trudeau said the cheques would still go out to people in Saskatchewan, pointing to the CRA's "rigorous quasi-judicial proceedings."

"Despite the disagreement with the provincial government here in Saskatchewan, on them not wanting to pay the federal government what is owed, the Canada Carbon Rebate cheques going to families in Saskatchewan will not be impacted by the government of Saskatchewan decision," Trudeau said at a press conference in Saskatoon, Sask.

"We're going to continue to deliver the Canada Carbon Rebate to families right across Saskatchewan, despite the fact that Premier Moe is not sending that money to Ottawa right now," Trudeau added.

On his way out of an international summit to negotiate a plastics pollution treaty, Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault was asked about the prime minister's change in position, but said he had not yet heard the news.

Asked for a follow-up not long after, Guilbeault confirmed that Trudeau had tasked the CRA to ensure the money owed by Saskatchewan to the federal government is collected.

"The people of Saskatchewan shouldn't have to pay for the fact that their government is being irresponsible with carbon pricing," he said.

"And the prime minister said that he has great faith in the ability and the tools that are at the disposal of the CRA … to ensure that the government of Saskatchewan pays what is owed to the federal government."

Moe's decision to stop collecting the fuel charge on energy bills — a move that breaks federal law — came in protest of a heavily criticized decision by the Trudeau government to create a carve-out to the carbon tax for home heating oil, an exemption that largely benefits Atlantic Canadians.

With files from's Senior Digital Parliamentary Reporter Rachel Aiello




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