Report from the Legislature – June 27, 2019

What does it mean to be Canadian? While we are drawn together by common values, experiences, and aspirations, the answers to this question are as diverse as our population. Our diversity is a product of our freedom, stability and prosperity, and Canada Day is an excellent opportunity to consider and celebrate these things.

A destination of choice for people around the world, the story of Saskatchewan’s growth is largely due to international immigration. Our province has now seen 52 consecutive quarters of population growth, according to the latest population figures from Statistics Canada. This is a clear sign of the strength of our economy and our quality of life.

Our unprecedented population growth of 176,894 people includes 10,295 more who started calling Saskatchewan home in the past year. Your Saskatchewan Party government will keep standing up for all of them – to protect their livelihoods, their communities and their province. This means fighting the Trudeau Carbon Tax and speaking out against harmful federal legislation such as Bills C-69 and C-48.

The recent passage of Bills C-69 and C-48 marks a dark chapter for our energy and industrial sectors, and is deeply concerning for our government and all those that value the economic prosperity of our nation. Six premiers representing 59 per cent of Canada’s population recently wrote to the Prime Minister to outline concerns about how this legislation would harm our economic prosperity in key industries.

Through this legislation, the federal government has sent a clear message to the Canadian and international investment community that they do not support the competitiveness of our wealth generating and job creating sectors.

While the recent approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion project is a positive step, Bills C-69 and C-48 drastically restrict the possibility of further pipeline and industrial projects to be approved or built. Moving into the future, this legislation greatly limits our nation’s ability to overcome critical barriers in transporting our energy products to international markets, and selling these products for a fair price.

Our work to keep Saskatchewan issues front and centre, here at home and in Ottawa, will not stop over the summer. We will always advocate for our industries that provide the means to keep Saskatchewan strong and continue our opposition to the Trudeau Carbon Tax, which includes taking the fight to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court has notified the Government of Saskatchewan that Saskatchewan’s challenge of the federally-imposed carbon tax has been tentatively scheduled for December 5, 2019.

The Government of Saskatchewan previously announced the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada following the 3-2 split decision delivered by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in May. While our government was disappointed with the split decision at the Court of Appeal, we believe that the federal government has violated the constitutional jurisdiction of the provinces through the imposition of the federal carbon tax.

We look forward to standing up for Saskatchewan against the frivolous and ineffective carbon tax in the Supreme Court. Saskatchewan’s Constitutional Law Branch is currently developing the province’s factum which is due to be submitted to the Supreme Court of Canada by July 26, 2019, 60 days following the notice of appeal.

At a time when Saskatchewan has been faced with significant economic headwinds, positive wholesale trade statistics show that job creators remain confident in our economy. In April, wholesale trade in Saskatchewan grew 14.7 per cent year-over-year – the highest in Canada. With wholesale trade being a leading indicator of other future economic indicators, it gives us optimism in our economy as we move forward.