Current majority government:
Premier: Scott Moe, Saskatchewan Party (2)
Seats in SK legislature: 61
Saskatchewan party: 46
The Current Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan has been dissolved due to the current provincial election being held on Monday, October 26th, 2020 (2). This page will be updated accordingly once the results are in.
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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:
Estimated 2020-2021 Budget
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources: $362,400,000
Percentage: 2.25% (14)
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:
-SaskPower: 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:
There is currently a provincial election in Saskatchewan, with election day set for Monday, October 26th, 2020 (2).
The Government of Saskatchewan 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 (10). *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 (11). Saskatchewan accounts for approximately 10% of Canada’s total emissions, with majority of them coming from the oil and gas sector.
A power station in Saskatchewan became the first location in the world to successfully use Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, capable of reducing CO2 emissions by 90% (12).
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