Official Opposition Leader Ryan Meili stood with Energy and Resources Critic Erika Ritchie to address the urgent need for action to protect Saskatchewan’s economy and our environment.
“Our focus must be on good jobs and prosperity for everyone in Saskatchewan. Climate change poses serious economic risks to Saskatchewan, in its effects on agriculture and our lives, and in the threats to an economy dependent on industries that will see their markets changing drastically. With the global economy changing, and the recent Supreme Court decision on carbon pricing, Saskatchewan needs to be at the forefront of climate action and green jobs,” said Meili. “We have the chance right here and now to take serious steps to insulate our economy from future shocks. We need a plan that diversifies our economy and puts us on the cutting edge of sustainable jobs for the future.”
Meili said that a made-in-Saskatchewan plan would:
- Reduce Saskatchewan greenhouse gas emissions as part of Canada’s commitment to address global climate change
- Ensure funds from carbon pricing in Saskatchewan are redistributed in a progressive manner that recognizes the distinct needs of rural communities and agriculture producers
- Commit to a legislated target of 100 percent emissions-free electricity by 2050 and work with our Crown sector to meet that goal as soon as possible
- Work with SaskPower to pursue all options for green energy jobs in wind, solar, geothermal, battery storage and other technologies
- Develop a province-wide on-bill financing program, modeled on our Renew Saskatchewan proposal, to allow homeowners, renters and businesses to invest in renewable power and energy efficient retrofits
- Increase funding for post-secondary institutions and Innovation Sask to find creative solutions that reduce emissions and create good jobs
- Advocate to the federal government for enhanced support the development of new industries in the province, given the larger impact of changes on our economy
“Scott Moe’s plan isn’t working. Our emissions keep going up, we’re losing jobs and losing people. 23,000 more people are out of work than last year, and he turns up his nose at new industries for ideological reasons. He killed the solar industry, and has blown off opportunities to lead in geothermal and biofuels.” said Ritchie.“It’s time to chart a better course, one that takes climate change seriously, creates good, sustainable jobs and makes Saskatchewan a progressive leader with an economy that puts people first.”
Meili pointed out that any plan that will work for Saskatchewan has to be built with working people in mind to make sure these efforts translate into good, long-lasting jobs. To that end, he announced that the Saskatchewan NDP will be launching a series of consultations with experts from all sectors in Saskatchewan on how to implement a green jobs plan that puts people to work and works for people.