The Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the government to take genuine and constructive action and present a plan to combat climate change. As a first step and a meaningful move to protect Saskatchewan from having a price on carbon imposed on the province by Ottawa, the NDP is calling on the government to finally implement and enforce the Sask. Party’s Green Technology Fund which was proposed and passed through the House, seven years ago.
The government’s White Paper, presented last week, did nothing but recommit to their costly $1.5-billion carbon capture scheme.
“We don’t want a climate change plan imposed on Saskatchewan people by Ottawa, but the Sask. Party’s solution of doing nothing but complain is putting Saskatchewan people at risk of having that happen,” said NDP Leader Trent Wotherspoon. “Other provinces are working constructively to find solutions that work best for their provinces, but the Sask. Party has thrown away Saskatchewan’s voice and given up their own ability to negotiate a solution with the federal government that works with the people of Saskatchewan.”
Wotherspoon noted that finally enforcing their own carbon pricing legislation would be a solid first step to getting back some credibility. Passed by the Sask. Party in 2009 with NDP support, The Green Technology Fund would make the province’s largest polluters pay for the pollution they cause, with the funds being reinvested into renewable technologies, lowering emissions in the province and creating thousands of jobs.
A 2010 Conference Board of Canada report forecasted that the Technology Fund would have generated $1.3 billion in its first four years alone. That money would have been reinvested into the province and would have created a projected 8,568 jobs in the process.
“We need to start taking action, and fight for a made-in-Saskatchewan solution that addresses climate change in a way that works best for our province,” Wotherspoon said. “The Green Tech Fund isn’t the perfect solution, but it’s a start. And, in addition to sending a clear message that Saskatchewan is, once again, taking climate change seriously, it would also create thousands of good-paying, family-supporting jobs.”