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Canada Sask. Premier Moe 'disappointed' after meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau

21:55  12 november  2019
21:55  12 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks to the media after a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario Canada November 12, 2019.  REUTERS/Patrick Doyle © Getty Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks to the media after a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario Canada November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

Premier of Saskatchewan Scott Moe says he didn't hear any commitments on key issues related to the federal carbon tax or equalization after a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

On Tuesday, Moe and Trudeau met in Ottawa to talk about issues important to western Canadians, less than a month after the federal election.

"Disappointingly, after this meeting here today, what I do see is that we are going to see more of the same from this Prime Minister," Moe told reporters.

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"We had provided some options for him to support to the people of the province. And today, I did not hear a commitment to moving forward on those items."

During the election, the federal Conservative Party won all 14 seats in Saskatchewan, including a riding once held by long-time Liberal MP and cabinet minister Ralph Goodale.

For the last month, Moe has been talking about increasing western alienation, fuelled by policies like the federal carbon tax.

Moe said he asked the prime minister for a one-year pause on the tax, so that Saskatchewan could have a chance to implement its own policies.

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"(Saskatchewan's) policy is not about taxing hardworking Canadians and hardworking people in the province of Saskatchewan," said the premier.

"It's about reducing our emissions and enhancing our carbon sequestration opportunities."

Last year, SaskPower's carbon capture and storage facility at the coal-fired Boundary Dam power plant captured about 626,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The $1.5 billion facility opened in 2014.

In May, Saskatchewan filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada over the carbon tax, which it argued was unconstitutional.

Since Saskatchewan did not sign on to the federal carbon tax, the policy was imposed on the province.

Moe also asked Trudeau to re-open the country's equalization formula, where richer 'have' provinces provide money to other areas that are not doing as well economically.

"Over the last five years, we have three provinces: Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and Alberta that are at the bottom of our Canadian GDP growth rate," he said. 

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"Those are also three provinces that continue to contribute to this program. The program is flawed."

When asked if his comments were fuelling the nascent western separation movement, Moe said it should be up to the prime minister to cool down angry westerners.

"We have a prime minister that, on election night, said he understood those frustrations and he wanted to support the people in the province of Saskatchewan," said Moe.

"I came today to hear about what he was going to do differently to support the industries and the people in our province. And I can tell you this, I did not hear that there was going to be anything different."

Moe also called on Trudeau to commit to other pipeline projects to be built across the country, rather than solely rely on the TransMountain pipeline expansion, which is currently approved.

The Province of Saskatchewan is expected to make its arguments at the Supreme Court of Canada in January.

Doug Ford stresses national unity after meeting with Trudeau in Ottawa .
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