Making good on his promise to withhold carbon tax payments from SaskEnergy to the Federal Government, Premier Scott Moe and his Sask Party Government introduced The SaskEnergy (Carbon Tax Fairness for Families) Amendment Act. The Act, introduced on November 16, is designed to “protect Saskatchewan families from the unfair and unaffordable federal carbon tax,” says a Government of Saskatchewan release.
The Premier had already expressed his intent to stop collecting the tax as of January 1, 2024, as a response to the Federal Government’s exemption on home heating oil, a benefit largely for eastern families. Moe called on the feds to extend the measure to all forms of home heating in the interest of equity.
"Our government is taking the necessary steps to protect Saskatchewan families' ability to afford to heat their homes this winter by removing the federal carbon tax from the natural gas bills of residential customers," Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy Dustin Duncan said. "This legislation will give our government, and me as Minister, the sole authority and responsibility for decisions regarding the collection and remittance of the federal carbon tax on SaskEnergy bills while also providing protection for SaskEnergy employees and board members."
According to the release, the amendment to the SaskEnergy Act empowers the province to control all decision making about payment or non-payment of “any charge, tax, levy, remittance or other payment required by Part 1 of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (Canada).” In effect, the amendment shifts duty to the province to determine what taxes will be paid regarding the carbon tax in the case of natural gas home energy.
It also indemnifies SaskEnergy and all current and former employees and affiliates from damages and legal fees, should those arise.
"We still believe the federal government should remove the carbon tax on everything for everyone," Duncan said. "But until that happens, our government will ensure fairness for Saskatchewan families by taking the carbon tax off their SaskEnergy bills."
The government states that the removal of the federal carbon tax from SaskEnergy bills, effective January 1, 2024, will save the average Saskatchewan family approximately $400 in 2024.
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