Province seeks more autonomy over resources and economic future

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Premier Scott Moe has his sights set on the flexibility of Saskatchewan’s self-government with legislation similar to Alberta’s proposed sovereignty act.

Lieutenant Governor Russell Mirastry, in the Speech from the Throne, outlined the Saskatchewan Program of the party government for the autumn session of the legislature.

He says Saskatchewan will seek more independence, particularly over its natural resources.

The Constitution of Canada already separates provincial and federal powers, but Saskatchewan wants writing in its own laws.

The government is preparing in the next few days to introduce the Saskatchewan First Law.

He says the intention is to define that “Saskatchewan alone” has exclusive jurisdiction over its natural resources and economic future.

“The legislation will draw the jurisdictional line and defend that line based on the existing constitutional division of powers,” Mirasty said. “To be clear, this is not about repealing or ignoring the Constitution.”

Moe pledged that his government would “respect and follow all laws of the land” as it proposes these changes.

“We are trying to do everything we can as a province to try to clarify the investment community and to Saskatchewanresidents, as well as Canadians,” Moe said Wednesday.

He said emissions caps on fertilizer or petroleum production are not within the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Saskatchewan lost a constitutional challenge to Ottawa over the carbon tax, but Moe said he doesn’t believe it sets a precedent for other federal environmental policies.

“Weighing in on carbon tax policy is not prejudging that it will work on all of these other… (federal environmental) policies,” said Moe, who previously said he would sue. legal action against them.

Saskatchewan is already prepared to intervene in the constitutional challenge to Canada’s Impact Assessment Act, should it proceed to Supreme Court of Canada. It allows the government to assess the environmental impacts of projects on federal lands before they go ahead.

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