The Supreme Court ruling against Scott Moe and other conservative premiers’ challenge to a federal carbon tax is great news for Saskatchewan, Canada and the world.
“Environmentalists in our province rejoiced at this decision. After all, pricing carbon is a great tool to wield in our fight against climate change,” states Naomi Hunter, leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party. “Heck, even the American Petroleum Institute supports it! But it’s only one small portion of what we need to do to reach 100% clean energy within the next 7 to 10 years.”
The SGP proposes a non-partisan, all party approach to move forward and start taking real action on climate TODAY!
Our climate action plan knocks out fossil fuel emissions, strengthens our Saskatchewan communities while attracting innovation and investment. “We’ve run out of time for half measures and empty promises”, says Hunter.
SGP calls for an immediate end to unfair tax subsidies for the oil and gas sector and prompt localized investment into conservation, efficiency and renewable energy production.
- We call for the establishment of an Indigenous advisory panel for guidance, ensuring that Traditional Knowledge and treaty rights are respected.
- Establish a Guaranteed Livable Income to assist in the transition of workers and their families from dependence on oil and gas jobs.
- Establish a moratorium on clearcut logging, peat bog mining, and unregulated drainage of our wetlands on the Prairies.
- Offer real incentives for citizens to invest, and bring back the net metering program for residential solar projects.
Hunter reminds us: “We can lead Canada once again, like we did on Socialized Medicine back in the glory days of Tommy Douglas. Our wind and solar resources are world class and Saskatchewanians are renowned for their ingenuity and work ethic”.
The biggest problem is the policy of Scott Moe’s SaskParty government, in virtual climate change denial, excused by a half-hearted Ryan Meili led opposition. They deny our province the chance to finally embark on a serious climate plan. The NDP’s plan to have 100% emissions free electricity by 2050 grossly misses the mark. That empty promise prolongs our suffering with offers of false hope. In reality, it’s nothing more than a green light to the vastly toxic nuclear industry, to which their party is also beholden.
Further, mollycoddling the oil and gas sector with NDP vagaries such as “oil and gas will remain a strong pillar of our economy” is of no more help to Saskatchewanians than the overtly hostile position of Scott Moe’s government on climate change. After all, given his recent analogy, he and his party think this is all a game. “I’ve played enough hockey to know…”
“People from across the political spectrum have been reaching out to me non-stop since the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a federal carbon tax. I am inviting them to back the Greens and to support my voice as the only one among the province’s party leaders to speak the scientific truth about the climate crisis,” Hunter goes on to say, “The Dippers in particular feel let down by their party on this central issue. I’ll tell you what I’ve been telling them — there isn’t time to organize for change from within a party so deeply misaligned. Now is the time to back the only voice in this province that aligns with the science, the economics, the law, and the political will of the electorate.”
Hunter continues: “This is beyond partisanship. It comes down to whatever works in a crisis. We’ve got to get moving. This need has caught on in Prince Edward Island, where the Greens’ chances were considered laughably out of reach. In the course of one election cycle, the PEI Greens vaulted to Official Opposition. I’ve been an environmental campaigner for more than three decades in Saskatchewan and if the NDP showed any promise at all in tackling this issue I would have run as a candidate with them.”
“Don’t get me wrong”, says Hunter, “I cherish the social activist tradition in Saskatchewan and the CCF-NDP has always been at the forefront of this tradition. Many of my friends are NDP members or supporters, and I have worked with them on many worthwhile projects. But NDP politics are too conflicted when it comes down to facing the greatest crisis of our age. The time for playing games is over. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated recently, “In this ‘make-or-break’ year, … now is the time to be bold and ambitious”.
The days of denial, delay and dither are done. Let’s get to work!
Naomi Hunter, Leader – Saskatchewan Green Party