Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Activists Want to See More Environment Talk in Saskatchewan Election

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Activists Want to See More Environment Talk in Saskatchewan Election

Article excerpt

Activists urge environment talk in election


REGINA - Anyone in Ottawa who thinks the outcome of next week's Saskatchewan election could rid the country of a premier who opposes a carbon tax should think again.

Current Premier Brad Wall -- one of the loudest voices against a national carbon tax -- is riding high in the polls heading into Monday's election.

But Opposition NDP Leader Cam Broten doesn't like the idea either, so opposition to the tax wouldn't be likely to change if he were to pull off a surprise win next Monday.

"I don't support an economy-wide carbon tax. It's not the right approach for Saskatchewan," Broten said at a recent campaign stop in Regina.

Wall has repeatedly said that a national carbon tax would "kneecap" an already struggling Canadian economy. He has suggested Canada should focus on technological solutions, such as carbon capture and storage, which is being used at a coal-fired power plant in southern Saskatchewan.

Both Wall and Broten back the idea of a carbon levy on heavy emitters, with any money collected going to a fund for clean technology.

The Sask. Party has passed such legislation, but it's never been brought into force.

Broten said a green technology fund would ensure that any dollars raised would stay in the province and "we're not siphoning dollars off going to Ottawa."

"That would allow proper innovation, proper steps here in Saskatchewan to make sure that we are doing the innovations and the transitions are in fact needed and required."

Even the Saskatchewan Green party says it wouldn't impose a carbon tax if elected. Leader Victor Lau said there are better ways to curb greenhouse gas emissions and a carbon tax "would hurt people already struggling in the current economic climate," as well as those who live in rural and remote areas.

Environmentalists are upset that their cause hasn't played much of a role in the three-week-old campaign. …

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