Saskatchewan, Ontario premiers teaming up to oppose federal carbon tax

Two Canadian provinces join to fight Justin Trudeau's carbon tax

Ford's newly elected government is scrapping Ontario's cap-and-trade program, which would make the province subject to a federally imposed carbon price, starting at $20 per tonne and increasing to a level of $50 a tonne by 2022.

The meetings focused mainly on trade issues, although the talks were publicly upstaged by Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe who announced that Ontario will intervene in Saskatchewan's court challenge of Ottawa's carbon tax plan.

Ford has teamed up with the Prime Minister of Saskatchewan Scott MoE, opposing the introduction of charges for harmful emissions in the beginning of the discussion of the Prime Ministers of the provinces and territories of Canada at the meeting of the Council of Federation in St. Andrews, new Brunswick.

"This made-in-Ottawa carbon tax plan finds our nation now in this position", Moe said.

"We pay between 30 and 40 per cent higher than the other similar industrialized countries pay for their medications", he said.

"A one-size-fits-all carbon tax fails to recognize the diverse nature of our great Canadian economy", the Saskatchewan premier said. "Today we're grateful that the people of Ontario. will join us every step of the way".

Caroline Theriault, a spokesman for Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, said federal jurisdiction is clear on this issue. "If you want to create jobs, if you want to grow the economy, you better have a climate plan".

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant was asked whether Ford and Moe's declaration would prove a distraction to talks about freer global and internal trade.

In his letter, Gallant said his province also supports addressing four specific items identified by Pallister including abattoir licencing, harmonizing trucking regulations, business registration requirements, and standards for First Aid courses and kits.

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Less than three weeks after his swearing-in, the rookie Progressive Conservative Premier has taken his province from a stalwart supporter of carbon taxes to a fierce opponent, upsetting the balance on the issue that Mr. Trudeau reached with premiers more than two years ago in Vancouver.

He said there has been "robust growth".

The provincial leaders are expected to discuss a range of other topics, including the USA trade dispute, health care, the announced pullout of Greyhound from bus routes in Western Canada, and the skirmish between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Canada's premiers are set to wrap up their two-day meeting in New Brunswick with a deal that will effectively double the amount of beer and alcohol that can be taken across provincial and territorial borders.

He noted the premiers have been helpful in reaching out to US politicians and businesses.

"In Saskatchewan, we've chosen a different path".

Gallant was asked whether Ford and Moe's declaration would prove a distraction to talks about freer worldwide and internal trade.

Manitoba's Brian Pallister said the agreement as it stands is important in the face of measures by U.S. President Donald Trump when it comes to cross-border trade. -Canada trading relationship he said.

Ford also later joined Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister in calling for more help from the federal government in dealing with asylum seekers who cross their borders. We also were able to secure broader consensus from all of Canada's premiers on the need for the federal government to compensate affected provinces.

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