One of the biggest issues in Saskatchewan politics currently is the carbon tax.
Both the province's current government (the Saskatchewan Party) and the official opposition (the NDP) believe the federally-imposed tax would be a detriment to Saskatchewan's economy, but that seems to be the only thing they're agreeing on.
According to Stefan Rumpel, who ran as the NDP candidate in the recent Swift Current byelection, he believes the election results came down to misinformation and fear regarding the carbon tax.
"I'm honestly worried that we're doing enough to protect people, that there is more work to be done," he stated Thursday night after finding out he'd lost the byelection. "If we sit at the table and activate those experts and create a made in Saskatchewan solution that doesn't have to be a tax, there are multiple options out there."
Rumpel went onto say he hopes that residents of the Swift Current constituency now understand the NDP's stance on the issue.
The Sask Party has been claiming the NDP are for a provincial carbon tax, while the Sask Party is vehemently against a carbon tax and plans to go to court if need be.
"We just find that would have a crippling impact on our economy here in Swift Current and around the province," Everett Hindley, the new Swift Current MLA said during his byelection campaign. "I've spoken about it before in terms of environmental policy with regards to a made in Saskatchewan plan, in terms of power generation moving to 50 per cent renewables by 2030. In this particular constituency, I have not seen any sort of appetite for a carbon tax."
Hindley also said during his door-to-door campaign he had yet to come across anyone who supported a federally imposed carbon tax, with some Swift Current residents listing the tax as their biggest issue or concern.
With the provincial government not signing the federal climate change plan by Feb. 28, Saskatchewan lost a guaranteed $62 million in funding for emission-reduction programs.