August 1, 2020
Current majority government:
Premier: Scott Moe, Saskatchewan Party
Number of Members of Legislative Assembly in SK: 61
Saskatchewan party: 46
Find your Member of Legislative Assembly here: (2)
Environmental stance of majority party:
The Saskatchewan Party’s Climate Plan aims to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030, use 50% renewable energy by 2030, including flexible compliance options for large emitters (such as oil, gas, and mining industries). The Premier, Scott Moe, hopes to achieve these targets without a federally or provincially administered carbon tax. (5)
Percentage of 2020/2021 budget estimated to be allocated to the environment:
Total budget: $14.5 billion
Estimated 2020-2021 Budget Ministry of Environment: $109,836,000
Percentage: 0.76% (13)
Main provincial-level legislation for environment protection:
The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act:
Proclaimed in 2018 to allow the government to monitor emission reduction target compliance. (6)
The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases (MRGG) Regulations:
General and Electricity producer: SK hoped that these regulations put in place in 2018 for coal-fired electricity would be a step closer to an equivalency agreement with the Federal Government. (6) The equivalency agreement was established in 2020, where the regulations in MRGG were deemed equivalent to those in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (See CEPA). (7)
Reporting and General: The regulations require that any provincial facility that emits more than 10,000 tonnes of GHG per year report emissions to the government. (6).
Standards and Compliance: The regulations provide industry with parameters for the mandatory greenhouse gas reductions, such as performance standards and compliance options. (6)
The Oil and Gas Conservation Amendment Act:
Introduced in 2018 to facilitate emissions regulations in the oil and gas sector through preventing wasteful operations and regulating production of resources. (6)
Specific government-based environmental programs:
Saskatchewan’s principal electric utility has set a target to generate 50% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. (8)
The Ministry of Central Services coordinates Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an environmental building certification program. The Ministry ensures that all new construction projects adhere to this program, including the use of LED lighting, energy-efficient windows, solar thermal technology for water heating, and co-generated electricity.
The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for overseeing and supporting progressive agriculture practices that aim to protect the environment. This includes facilitating improvements in zero-till farming, fertilizer use, maintaining permanent cover, addition of pulses into crop rotations, and improved livestock feeding practices. For more information about these practices, click here (8)
Next election date:
The Saskatchewan legislative election was scheduled for October 2020; however, the Premier has stated it may be sooner. (10)
The Government of Saskatchewen has taken a strong position against the federally implemented carbon price for two main reasons. Firstly, the provincial government has stated that this price will do more damage to the economy that is largely dependent on oil-and-gas production and resource extraction. Secondly, the provincial government has questioned the effectiveness of carbon taxing for reducing overall GHG emissions with the federal pricing plan (11). *This is just the opinion of the provincial government, see our page on the effectiveness of carbon pricing for information*
What makes this province different?
Around 40 industrial facilities in Saskatchewan account for 11% (approximately 8.5 million tonnes) of the province's total emissions. As part of the ‘Prairie Resilience’ strategy, it is expected that total emissions from these facilities will drop by 10% by 2030 (12). Saskatechwan accounts for approximately 10% of Canada’s total emissions, with majority of them coming from the oil and gas sector.
The threat of raising temperatures is highest in the provinces near and including Saskatchewan. Increases in temperatures can lead to forest fires which both disrupt human and wildlife in the area. (14)
Climate change is expected to alter landscapes in Saskatchewan making them unconducive to regular agricultural practices. (15)
The temperature in the prairie pothole region, the area of the province containing majority of its natural water, is expected to increase by 1.8-4˚C. This increase is expected to result in increased flooding and extreme rainfall. (16)