The Province of Saskatchewan is requesting that the Supreme Court settle the issue of constitutionality of the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, and will be arguing its carbon tax reference case on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
“We believe that we have strong legal grounds in this case, particularly considering that we’re arguing on the same grounds that saw the Alberta Court of Appeal rule the Trudeau carbon tax unconstitutional,” says Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan. “We look forward to putting our case forward in Canada’s highest court and settling this issue.”
The federal carbon tax legislation is applied differently in each province, depending on the province’s strategies to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“We have argued, since day one, that the carbon tax is an overreach by the federal government,” Morgan says. “While the question today is whether each province has a right to choose its own climate change plan, this legislation could have far-reaching consequences for the autonomy of every Canadian province if it is allowed to stand.”
Under the Canadian constitution, provinces hold the authority to set policy and legislation in areas under provincial jurisdiction, and in the Saskatchewan government’s view, the federal government does not have the right to override provincial authority.
“We need a federal climate policy that makes our environment, economies, and communities more resilient to the effects of climate change – not more vulnerable,” says Saskatchewan’s Environment Minister, Dustin Duncan. “We can respond to climate change successfully by creating a sustainable transition that benefits Saskatchewan’s families and businesses.”