The Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association and its members take a united stand with Premier Scott Moe on carbon pricing and his government’s decision to file a lawsuit against the federal government and its proposed carbon tax.
A carbon tax would negatively impact our members, with some feeling the pinch more than others. It also would increase the burden to the Saskatchewan taxpayers.
“The reason we’ll be doing that is the carbon tax just simply does not work. Nowhere in the world does a carbon tax actually reduce emissions,” Moe recently told the Regina media.
If the Sask Party is unsuccessful in its lawsuit, the federal government will impose a $10/tonne price on carbon – eventually reaching a $50/tonne price in 2022.
SHCA and its members spend millions of dollars every year to fuel and heat their plants, their crushing operations and equipment.
A carbon tax will put our workers at risk. If government can’t afford to fund infrastructure projects because the off-loading of the taxation expense is too great, then the result will be fewer roads being built and fewer workers in the industry.
It is important to note that our industry is not opposed to reducing emissions, where we can have converted asphalt plant to operate using natural gas. But natural gas pipelines are not available to contractors working in remote locations.
The SHCA feels that putting incentives in place to allow contractors to purchase lower-emitting equipment is a place to start and needs to be looked at. Incentives like accelerated capital cost accounting will encourage contractors to ditch their older higher-emitting equipment earlier. The new equipment comes with a hefty price tag and contractors likely will not invest in equipment that may sit idle if projects get cut.
Taxing an industry, and one with very few options to change how they do business, is short-sighted. If we really want to tackle climate change we need to look at all options.