The federal government’s move to scale back its carbon tax policy is not enough to reduce the damage the plan will have on the economy, according to Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who’s calling for Ottawa to scrap the proposal completely.

“Poison is still poison when you water it down. What we’re seeing here today is a watered down initiative of what is essentially economic poison in the nation of Canada,” Moe told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s not enough. This tax needs to be pulled back.”

Ottawa’s changes to the carbon tax amount to an admission that the tax will make Canadian companies less competitive – something his government has been saying for the last two years, said Moe.

Ottawa’s new carbon plan still doesn’t work, won’t reduce environmental outcomes and will cost jobs, said Moe.

“The federal government would do well to go back to the Vancouver declaration where all first ministers signed on behalf of their provinces and territories to work collaboratively with different provincial plans to achieve our Paris commitments, not this made in Ottawa climate tax,” he said.

Moe’s comments follow criticism that he posted on Twitter and Facebook after Ottawa made the announcement on Wednesday morning.

In an effort to protect Canada’s global competiveness, the federal government confirmed it was changing the requirement for companies to pay tax on 20 per cent of their greenhouse gas emissions from an initial 30 per cent announced in its original plan. 


The change only reduced the amount that heavy emitters or large corporations have to pay on emissions, but did nothing for Canadian households, said Moe.

“We’ve seen no backing up on what this is going to cost families across the nation. Families are still going to pay their 10 or 12 cents on the fuel tax, except in Saskatchewan or possibly Ontario,” Moe said.

He reiterated that Ottawa’s carbon tax policy is flawed and won’t work in Canada if it hasn’t worked around the world.

“[Ottawa needs to] re-engage with the provinces, understanding that the [carbon] plans will look different across our nation. The economy in Saskatchewan is different than the manufacturing economy in Ontario, and is different than economies of Atlantic Canada,” Moe said. “Each province is moving forward with credible plans, they should be recognized and they should all be brought together.”