EDITORIAL: Guilbeault’s stupid fight with Saskatchewan

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What was Environment Secretary Steven Guilbeault thinking when he threatened to use the Criminal Code to force Saskatchewan to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power by the end of 2029?

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In response to Saskatchewan’s plan to use coal-fired power beyond that date, announced last week, Guilbeault said, “We have settled the coal ban through CEPA (the Canadian Environmental Protection Act), which is a criminal tool of the federal government.” Failure to comply with this rule would therefore be a violation of the Canadian Criminal Code.”

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The Trudeau government wants Canada’s power sector to achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2035.

Part of that plan is to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from Saskatchewan’s coal-fired power generation by the end of 2029, either by shutting down power plants or by equipping them with carbon capture technologies.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe countered that Guilbeault could “get me,” describing the federal plan as “ideological,” “unrealistic,” and “unaffordable,” adding that it would also jeopardize the reliability of the province’s power grid.

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In response to Guilbeault, the Saskatchewan legislature passed a motion, supported by the opposition NDP, “that this assembly recognize that the federal goal of net-zero emissions from Saskatchewan’s electricity generation by 2035 is unrealistic and unaffordable.”

Guilbeault’s threat to use the penal code to enforce the federal target in Saskatchewan is utterly bizarre given that Canada already has one of the cleanest power generation systems in the world.

The Trudeau government describes it as already 83% zero-emissions, largely due to the use of hydro and nuclear power, and to a much lesser extent wind and solar power.

Coal provides just 7.4% of Canada’s electricity, compared to 60% of China’s electricity and 70% of India’s electricity.

Electricity is the only major sector of Canada’s economy – there are seven in total, led by oil & gas and transportation – that surpasses Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2030 target of reducing Canada’s emissions by 40% to 45% below 2005 levels. has already surpassed.

For the power sector, a 45% drop by 2030 would mean 65 million tonnes of emissions that year.

Canada’s emissions from the electricity sector totaled 52 million tonnes in 2021, the latest year for which data is available from the federal government.

https://torontosun.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-guilbeaults-foolish-fight-with-saskatchewan EDITORIAL: Guilbeault’s stupid fight with Saskatchewan


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