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Sask. looking for federal funding for carbon plan
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 1:52PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, May 16, 2018 6:23PM CST
The Saskatchewan government did not sign on to the national carbon tax -- but it still hopes to get some federal funding.
The province submitted 11 projects to the Government of Canada's Low Carbon Economy Fund before the May 14 deadline. The fund includes $62 million of federal funding earmarked for Saskatchewan, but only if the province signs the Pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
The 11 projects total more than $200 million, and are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 188 million tonnes.
Saskatchewan has not signed the agreement because it includes a national carbon tax, but the province hopes the federal government will change its mind.
"That $62M is now in the Low Carbon Challenge Fund,” the federal Ministry of Environment said in a statement. “Each project, including those located in Saskatchewan, will be evaluated fairly on their merits, but there is no guarantee that the province of Saskatchewan will see their projects approved--that opportunity has passed."
The federal government says the challenge fund has received close to 600 other proposals.
"We certainly believe that they are very worthwhile projects,” said Environment Minister Dustin Duncan. “If this is really about reducing emissions, then there really isn't a reason why the federal government should deny Saskatchewan these dollars."
The opposition supports the projects, but believes the province needs to do more to qualify for federal funding.
"We don't want to see a Trudeau government implemented carbon tax. So, the clock is ticking for this government to get its work done,” said environment critic David Forbes.
The province says it doesn’t have a timeline for the projects, but that it is committed to tangible greenhouse gas reduction.