In October, it was announced SaskEnergy stop collecting the carbon tax on home heating effective January 1st. The move was in response to the federal government announcing they were pausing the collection of carbon tax on home heating oil, and providing no further exemptions.  

While the decision was made, the provincial government still had to decide if they would remit the amount owed for the carbon tax from general revenue. Last Thursday, it was announced by the Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy, Dustin Duncan, that they would not be remitting the amount.  

The support for the move to not collect the carbon tax has, overall, been positive. However, it has also raised some questions on social media regarding taxes in general. More than a few people have asked if, since the province has deemed it acceptable to refuse to pay taxes applied unfairly, exemptions can be made for various provincial taxes. 

Others have asked if they would get in trouble if they chose to not pay the education portion of their property tax since they don’t have children in school.  

“I would just urge people to consider that what we’re doing is not to say that there are no repercussions,” said Duncan, who is the MLA for Weyburn-Big Muddy. “There is the ability for the federal government to pursue the provincial government, and me as the minister, and so we’re prepared for whatever those consequences may be.” 

Some of the initial consequences are being mentioned as applying at a general level, with the federal government floating that if the province doesn’t remit the carbon tax then the people of the province won’t be receiving the rebate for the carbon tax.  

Duncan emphasized the situation is about treating everyone fairly, no matter where they live, or what they do.  

“Part of the principle of why the carbon tax was put in place and why the Supreme Court upheld the carbon tax is that it would be applied equally across the country,” Duncan explained. “That was the case until a couple of months ago when the Prime Minister changed that.”