According to a report from a tribunal struck by the provincial government to look at the economic impact of the federal government’s Clean Energy Regulations, which includes the goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2035, economic growth would be cut by $7.1 billion. There would be 4,200 fewer jobs and there would be an $8.1 billion negative impact for Saskatchewan’s export sector. The report was released today (Tues).

Crown Investments Corporation Minister Dustin Duncan says the goal is untenable when the province relies heavily on coal and natural gas for power, unlike some other provinces who have hydro or nuclear power.”We are starting from a different starting point than pretty much every other province except for Alberta. You know, we are in a very similar situation to Alberta. We don’t disagree with the end goal. It’s really just the timing of the goal.” He hopes the federal government will consider what provinces have been saying, which is that 2035 is an unrealistic goal. Duncan wants the federal government to stop tweaking the regulations and instead start over again. The province’s plan is to reach net zero by 2050.

Justice Minister Bronwyn Eye believes the federal regulations are unconstitutional, but says they won’t be taking the federal government to court on this. Instead, the onus is now on the Government of Canada to prove the constitutionality of its regulations, before it can impose them.

Click here for the full report – Report of the Economic Impact 3767

The Tribunal found that regional differences between provinces, including power sources, population, climate and geography were not taken into account when the federal government developed the CER and identified a wide variety of impacts on the Saskatchewan economy, including:

  • By 2035, residential ratepayers would face a $241 increase in additional electricity costs and a $630 increase by 2050. Households would have between $1,350-$2,040 less to spend annually.
  • By 2035, commercial ratepayers would face a $888 increase in additional electricity costs and a $2,340 increase by 2050.
  • By 2035, small industrial ratepayers would face a $1,429 increase in additional electricity costs and a $3,750 increase by 2050.
  • Saskatchewan has only three per cent of Canada’s population, but would bear at least 15 per cent of the total costs of CER compliance.
  • Saskatchewan and its industries are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of greater electricity costs due to our resource and export-based economy.
  • Complying with the CER would lead to stalled growth, potential shifts of production to jurisdictions with less stringent environmental standards, and a substantial decrease in royalties and taxes paid to the Government of Saskatchewan.
  • Taxpayer-funded power infrastructure would have to be abandoned prior to its intended end-of-life.