Sask. Manufacturing Slumps

February 16th, 2018

Statistics Canada reported today that Saskatchewan manufacturing sales fell by 7.4 per cent from November to December 2017 – the largest monthly drop of any province outside Atlantic Canada.

Over the past year, Saskatchewan along with Newfoundland and Labrador were the only two provinces in which manufacturing sales were flat. They grew in every other province, averaging a nationwide increase of 3.7 per cent.

“Brad Wall claimed that his legacy was to diversify our provincial economy,” noted Regina–Lewvan MP Erin Weir. “But Statistics Canada reports that, during his final year as Premier, Saskatchewan manufacturing slumped.”

Wall and his successor, Premier Scott Moe, have expressed concern that a federal carbon price could disadvantage Saskatchewan manufacturers relative to American and offshore competitors that do not pay for their emissions. Unfortunately, the Sask. Party has not put forward a policy alternative to safeguard jobs in our province.

“I invite Premier Moe to join me in pushing the federal government to extend its carbon price to the carbon content of imports from countries that do not price emissions and rebate it on Canadian exports,” said Weir.

“With a carbon tariff, American companies selling petroleum products into the Canadian market would pay the same emissions levy as Regina’s Co-op Refinery, just as both are subject to GST when selling in Canada.”

Since producing a ton of steel in China and shipping it here emits about five times as much carbon as producing it in Regina, the carbon tariff on Chinese steel imports would be about five times the carbon price paid by Evraz.

Steel, petroleum products and other goods manufactured in Saskatchewan would receive a carbon price rebate when sold abroad, providing a level playing field for our workers.

Click here for MP Weir’s background paper on carbon border adjustments.