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“It is going to help schools to make their buildings a lot more energy efficient and reduce not only their greenhouse gas emissions, but reduce their energy costs,” he said.
It took several months to negotiate an agreement with the provincial government on how to use the money. But Wilkinson doesn’t think Saskatchewan’s opposition to carbon pricing got in the way.
“Saskatchewan has obviously made its perspective on pricing pollution very clear,” said Wilkinson. “But it has been open and collaborative with respect to how we actually returned the money. So I wouldn’t say that there were any issues in that regard. By and large, that has been a pretty seamless process.”
During a media availability by a Regina school on Wednesday, Premier Scott Moe said it’s “about time” that carbon tax money comes back to Saskatchewan. He said school boards have paid their share of those revenues.
“School boards have also contributed to this inefficient, ineffective carbon tax,” said Moe. “As you know I just penned a letter to the prime minister on his ambitious green agenda which I worry may turn into a vicious green agenda in the throne speech that will be delivered on Sept. 23. We have great concerns.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to reveal his government’s priorities in a throne speech next week, and an emphasis on green initiatives is expected to figure prominently. Moe sent a letter this week asking Trudeau to commit to keeping the oil and gas industry strong in the speech.