The Buffalo Party Discusses Carbon Tax

·7 min read

With the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision, Saskatchewan needs to face the future of Carbon tax and the Buffalo Party has made their plan known to the Sask. Party and the rest of the province.

The Buffalo Party believes we should be rewarded under any carbon plan; however, the federal government says none of the projects such as carbon capture technology. The political party stated, “Other provinces get credit for everything they do to lower emissions, but we do not. We do not get any credit for all the changes we have made to our industry over the past decade despite the transformation nearly every one of our industries have gone through in the past decade.”

Below is the Buffalo Party’s plan for the carbon tax:

1) Charge Others To Use Our Excess Sequestration Capabilities:

The Buffalo Party understands there are far more dangerous gases to the environment than Co2. The fact is the Federal Government has its focus on Co2 and a taxation revenue plan, not an emissions plan. The Buffalo Party believes a smart emissions plan is the only realistic solution to decrease Co2 and other more harmful gases.

The Buffalo Party believes that we should be able to sell any excess Co2 tonnes of sequestration capacity each year to fully maximize the return on our sequestration abilities here in Saskatchewan. According to borealbirds.org Saskatchewan has 41 million hectares of forests within the province; and according to the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, each hectare of the forest should sequester 6.4 tonnes of Co2/year. This gives a sequestration capacity of 262.4 million tonnes per year of Co2. Additionally, according to prairiecommons.ca, Saskatchewan has 8.2 million acres of grasslands (over 3.3 million hectares). If each acre of grassland can sequester 1 tonne of Co2 per year, this adds an additional 8.2 million tonnes of Co2 sequestration capacity. For a total of 270.6 million tonnes of sequestration capacity.

Saskatchewan has two Co2 sequestration facilities. The Boundary Dam Project sequesters 1 million tonnes per year, and the Quest Project sequesters 1.2 million tonnes per year. Saskatchewan has the ability to sequester a minimum of 272.8 million tonnes of Co2 per year.

Saskatchewan produced 77.9 million tonnes of Co2 in 2017 according to the Canada Energy Regulator. This gives a surplus of 194.9 million tonnes of sequestration capacity for Saskatchewan to sell on a yearly basis. If Saskatchewan sells the available sequestration capacity of our province at the Federal Liberal Government’s price per tonne of $170, adding over $33 billion into the provincial coffers. If the Federal Liberal Government tax Canadians for our carbon emissions, then we must set the price for parity and equality with competitors and trade partners.

This does not take into account the possible additional sequestration added by Saskatchewan’s agricultural industry. Saskatchewan’s Agriculture industry is at the forefront of best agriculture practices, innovation, and science. To cast aside this backbone of all society from the carbon tax and carbon credits is a blatant disregard for agriculture as a whole. Buffalo Party will continue to work with and stand up for Saskatchewan’s Agriculture sector. It is a shame that our current Provincial government fails to do so.

2) Use The Proceeds of the Carbon Sales to Decrease Our Carbon Footprint:

The Saskatchewan government, per Buffalo Party’s plan, will use the proceeds from the sale of our yearly carbon credits to promote a smarter economy within Saskatchewan. Projects could include additional funding to Saskatchewan communities through the Crown Corporations to upgrade the service requirements to encourage the use of smarter technologies, infrastructure modernization, and other innovations that can help Saskatchewan lower its environmental impact.

Projects should start in areas of higher population density and work out to the low population density areas. Concentrations of greenhouse gases would be higher in areas of a denser population. Saskatchewan would fund research studies of nuclear reactors and value-added industries of this sector.

Tax incentives will be given to Saskatchewan residents who wish to generate their own energy. SaskPower will purchase the power at parity, less cost, to make this more feasible to the public. (Our current system does not allow this to happen). Under Buffalo Party’s plan, Saskatchewan will cover the cost of tree seedlings for planting projects to increase sequestration acres.

Grants will be made available to the Oil and Gas industry to assist them in moving to more carbon/greenhouse gas neutral practices and technologies. The Buffalo Party already recognizes the positive gains the Oil and Gas industry has made in this area. The Buffalo Party will continue to always support Oil and Gas industry.

Funding to be made available to municipal jurisdictions within Saskatchewan for projects that would be used to encourage the increase in our sequestration capabilities and reduce carbon usage within their jurisdictions. The plan would be to use the proceeds of the sale of our additional carbon credits to increase more environmentally.

3) Retain 100% of the Proceeds of the Carbon Sales within Saskatchewan:

The Federal Liberal Government's carbon scheme is being instituted in an unequal patchwork from province to province. Just like the flawed equalization plan. The Buffalo Party’s plan will use the proceeds of the sale to offset the punitive measures thrust upon Saskatchewan by our own Federal Liberal Government. As this plan is an ‘environmental initiative’, Buffalo Party views this to be over and above equalization calculation. Equalization needs to be scrapped, or in the least, re-visited and changed to be ‘truly equal’.

4) Retention of All Taxation within Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan cannot be continually begging for our own money back from the federal government for the collection of taxes. As one of our issues surrounding Trudeau’s ‘Green New Deal - Carbon Tax’ is the continued threats to withhold funding unless Saskatchewan capitulates. The federal government has too much power. The only solution is the taxes collected in Saskatchewan stay in Saskatchewan. Then Saskatchewan will send money to Ottawa. This is the same as Quebec’s provincial autonomy.

5) Referendum on Separation:

If the federal government is unwilling to let Saskatchewan have a Saskatchewan solution to any issue; it proves the point that we are no more than a colony, set up to feed the Laurentian Elite. Saskatchewan and its people need to be in charge of our own destiny.

The recent Supreme Court decision has shown that even with the support of Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia; Ottawa holds all the power regardless that 80% of Canada’s population was on Saskatchewan’s side of the Carbon Tax. This precedent has grave consequences to the future of the Confederation.

Saskatchewan’s people are a strong, proud and vibrant part of Canada. Over the years, Saskatchewan has shown that we are more than willing to give to the Canadian cause, but we have had enough of being taken for granted, and as such if we are not allowed to make our own solution to a problem such as this. Then it is time we need to decide if Saskatchewan should be part of this colonization project any longer.

The Buffalo Party believes that by charging our competitors and trade partners to use our carbon sequestration capabilities, we can encourage more uptake with rewards on being proactive than we can even hope to accomplish by punishing the whole population.

In a press release, the party started, “We all need to do the best we can to take care of this planet we call home. We also need to ensure there is a future for our children. We just disagree on how it should be accomplished. Buffalo Party believes the plan we have set forth, is a journey that will provide more efficient solutions for the future and be a model for the rest of the world to aspire to. What we need to realize at this time is going strictly renewable energy is far too unreliable, inefficient, and costly. Buffalo Party believes that this plan gives Saskatchewan the best opportunity to create the highest productivity possible at the highest efficiency achievable.”

The use of incentives to promote environmental efficiencies, in the Buffalo Party’s opinion, will work far better in bringing forth new innovations than the tax policies that we are faced with now. The Buffalo Party has a goal to move to a smarter economy and is putting forth a plan to accomplish it.

Gary Horseman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Four-Town Journal