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Sask. government says it is now recognized as province's singular natural gas distributor

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The Saskatchewan government has confirmed it is now being recognized as the individual supplier of natural gas by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as it continues to contemplate whether to remit carbon tax for January.

Following an announcement from Ottawa last fall that included a three year pause on carbon tax for home heating oil, Premier Scott Moe indicated Saskatchewan would stop collecting carbon tax on natural gas for home heating in January 2024.

In an emailed statement to CTV News, the province says that a final decision has yet to be made, but will be decided upon before the end of February payment deadline.

“Decisions regarding whether to remit residential carbon tax charges for the month of January will be made in advance of the end of February payment deadline,” the email reads.

Despite no final decision on whether or not to remit carbon tax for January, Saskatchewan residents stopped seeing the federal charge on their SaskEnergy bills as of Jan. 1, 2024.

Late in 2023, an amendment was passed to list the provincial government as the province’s sole distributer of natural gas over SaskEnergy. The amendment received NDP support.

Dustin Duncan, who is Saskatchewan's crown investment minister, said at the time that the move was to protect SaskEnergy employees from any legal repercussions from the federal government should any come from not remitting carbon tax.

Canada’s federal carbon tax is currently listed at $65 per tonne and is set to increase to $80 per tonne on April 1. Increases are set to continue at $15 annually until 2030.

The province recently touted that its decision to stop collecting the carbon levy on natural gas and electric heat contributed to Saskatchewan’s inflation rate falling to 1.9 per cent in January.

However, the inflation rate in all provinces, excluding Alberta, reported a decrease in their inflation rates according to Statistics Canada’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) update.

-- With files from David Prisciak.

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