Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal will soon make the first ruling in Canada on Friday. They will decide whether the carbon tax that’s federally imposed is actually constitutional.
The Saskatchewan Party government has started with a challenge of the Ottawa’s levy, that took place starting the 1st of April in provinces that don’t have a carbon price of their own. A two-day hearing took place in February, and Saskatchewan argued that the important question is not about climate change, but about the division of power. They argued that the carbon tax is not constitutional because it is not applied evenly across all the countries. They also said that it erodes the sovereignty of provincial jurisdiction.
On the other hand, the federal government said that it has the power to put a certain price on pollution, because the greenhouse gas emissions are actually a national concern.
Scott Moe thinks that a carbon tax hurts the province from an economic point of view, and he said that he has a plan to appeal, if the court upholds the validity of the tax.
The decision will be a “persuasive authority”, that will be very closely evaluated by the other provinces that have their own legal battles against the federal tax.
Where is this happening?
Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba, all are not a subject to a carbon price. Manitoba has recently filed papers in the Federal Court for its own challenge, and Ontario was in court last month – it argued its case and they are not waiting for the response.
If the Saskatchewan Appeal Court justices write a persuasive judgment, it could actually have an impact on how all the other courts decide the matter. Both of the sides could learn something from the arguments made, and can make adjustments in other cases.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.