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Sask. NDP leader combats claims of carbon tax support following Ottawa visit

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Members of the Sask. Party claim a recent trip by the leader of the opposition reveals her party’s secret support for the federal carbon tax.

The accusation came up during question period on Monday, when Martensville-Warman MLA Terry Jenson highlighted Carla Beck’s trip to Ottawa last week for a meeting with the Canadian Labour Congress.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh were in attendance.

“It is now clear whose side the NDP is on and it’s not Saskatchewan’s. They support the carbon tax. Their leader flies to a meeting in Ottawa to help him get re-elected,” Jenson said. “The NDP is Trudeau’s choice for Saskatchewan.”

In her response, Beck made it clear that her party disagrees on many issues with its federal counterparts.

“I had some great meetings in Ottawa. I met with Saskatchewan health care workers, those who work in uranium, those who work in oil and gas. All of who were being failed by this tired and out of touch government,” she explained.

“I met with Jagmeet Singh, as well as members of the federal government and let them know that we oppose the carbon tax, that the home heating carve out is unfair and that we need a better deal on equalization.”

Additionally, Beck reiterated her claim that her party is the only one in Saskatchewan willing to work with the federal government.

“Saskatchewan New Democrats will work to get a deal. Whether that’s a school lunch program, whether it’s diabetes and contraceptive coverage, or when it comes to leaving federal dollars on the table,” she said, motioning towards the government side of the assembly.

“Saskatchewan people expect their government to lead no matter who’s in power in Ottawa.”

Beck ended off by calling on the government to cut the fuel tax as a form of affordability relief.

Speaking with reporters following question period, Premier Scott Moe described the event Beck attended as a “campaign school.”

“What we saw was the, not only the opposition leader, but members of the NDP caucus attend a ‘call to arms’ meeting put on by the Canadian Labour Congress that really was a campaign school on how to campaign against conservatives,” Moe said.

“The NDP leader didn’t just attend, she presented at that meeting and if we agree on the fact that we need to get rid of the carbon tax not only in Saskatchewan but across Canada … We should not, in this province, be out attending campaign schools on how to keep Justin Trudeau in power.”

In an April 17 news release titled “Labour reps discuss election strategy and union momentum,” the Canadian Labour Congress described its meeting as focusing on how to advance the rights of workers.

According to the event’s itinerary, the organization released new polling data and made an announcement regarding the Canadian Football League Players’ Association, while its Canadian Council heard from invited guests for more than five hours.

Since becoming leader, Beck has gone on record numerous times to voice her party’s opposition to the federal carbon tax.

Last October, in a rare display of consensus in the assembly, the official opposition joined with the government to unanimously pass a motion supporting not collecting or remitting the carbon tax on natural gas used for home heating.

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