Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says the province is to stop collecting the carbon levy on electric heat starting Jan. 1.
He said Thursday in a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, that many people in northern Saskatchewan use electricity to heat their homes, and that they should be exempt from paying the price.
“We’re going to need to determine who is heating their home with electricity and then estimate the percentage of their power bill that is being used for that heat,” Moe said.
“But those are details and we will get that all worked out.”
Moe announced in late October that SaskEnergy, the provincial natural gas utility, won’t remit the carbon charge on natural gas after Ottawa exempted home heating oil.
Moe said the federal government’s exemption is unfair, as it mainly helps those in Atlantic Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said heating oil is far more expensive than natural gas, adding those who use it don’t have other options readily available.
A spokesperson for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has said Canadians expect everyone to obey the law, adding the pricing framework was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada.
The federal government has also said the pricing system offers rebates, putting more money back into the pockets of most Canadians.
Proceeds are returned to the provinces from where the charges are collected, the spokesperson added.
Saskatchewan has introduced legislation to shield executives at SaskEnergy from being fined or potential jail time should the company not remit the charge.
SaskPower is the province’s electrical utility.
In January 2022, the province announced it would be taking over SaskPower’s carbon pricing system.
The change allows Saskatchewan to collect carbon charges from SaskPower and decide how to spend those dollars.
Banner image: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Heywood Yu
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2023.