'Bad news': Sask. Environmental Society voices their disapproval with Saskatchewan First Act
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) is drawing their line in the sand on the controversial Saskatchewan First Act, calling it “bad news” for the environment, economy, and the province’s energy future.
“The government is ignoring warnings from the scientific community about the urgency of climate change,” said board member Peter Prebble. “It’s ignoring previous rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada which give the Government of Canada the right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.”
The SES said Saskatchewan has disproportionately high greenhouse gas emissions compared to other jurisdictions in Canada.
“Our emissions are already very large,” said Prebble. “For us to be opposing measures put forward by the Government of Canada is really disappointing.”
He went on to say the bill would allow the provincial government to block federal initiatives aimed at environmental preservation.
“It’s really setting a terrible example for the global community,” said Prebble.
At a presentation to the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan Bronwyn Eyre said the province is already doing its part to reduce emissions.
“We have a proud record, 50 per cent methane reduction,” she said. “We’re very sustainable in what we do and very innovative in terms of the sectors.”
Eyre believes the act will give the province the ability to provide its own regulatory measures in timeframes it feels are more reasonable.
“There is an increasing stealth tendency by the federal government to get into prescriptive regulations,” she said. “It is simply outside of its constitutional lane.”
The Saskatchewan First Act was introduced in the Legislative Assembly in November 2022 and passed a second reading during the fall session.
The bill will undergo further debate before it’s expected to pass in the spring sitting.
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