Premier Scott Moe on Oct. 30. Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan

If people using home heating oil (principally in Atlantic Canada) don’t have to pay carbon tax to heat there home, neither will people in Saskatchewan who use electricity to heat their homes as of Jan. 1.

That was announcement Premier Scott Moe made on Nov. 30 via social media, along with Athabasca MLA Jim Lemaigre. It’s complementary to a recent announcement that those in Saskatchewan who use natural gas for heating will also not pay carbon tax via SaskEnergy, as of Jan. 1.

The announcement is expected to impact about 30,000 homes, many of which are on northern First Nations which do not have access to natural gas.

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The electrical heat announcement is similar to the natural gas one, in that the province owns and controls the Crown corporation utility, and thus has a unique ability to do this. It also helps that the Legislature has before it Bill 151, which lays all legal responsibility for defying the federal carbon tax on the minister responsible, in this case, Minister of Crown Investments Corp. Dustin Duncan, whose responsibilities also include SaskPower and SaskEnergy.

However, there was no announcement regarding propane home heating, which is commonplace on farms that are not connected to natural gas. This was likely due to the fact propane is provided by commercial suppliers, not Crown corporations. In Alberta, Premier Danielle Smith had said she could not follow Saskatchewan’s lead on natural gas carbon tax, because in that province, commercial providers supply natural gas, not a Crown corporation. Thus, a parallel situation may be the case for propane in this province.

Moe was asked about the extension to electrical home heating, and if there would be any consequences. He told reporters, “No consequence. I’m not expecting any consequence at all. I mean, we made the very same decision that the federal government made. They decided not to collect the carbon tax on heating oil, largely in Atlantic Canada. We decided not to collect the carbon tax on a natural gas and electricity for Saskatchewan families. So what’s fair is fair. I’m not expecting any consequences whatsoever.”

The dollar amount is minimal compared to the natural gas side, Moe said.

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