Ontario Court of Appeal rules carbon tax is constitutional

Carbon tax

Carbon tax

Ontario's Progressive Conservative executive under Premier Doug Ford, who calls the carbon price an illegal tax, had argued the act is a violation of the Structure because it enables the federal executive to intrude on provincial jurisdiction.

The ruling, released June 28, comes after Doug Ford's government launched a constitutional challenge of federal carbon tax plan a year ago.

He added the federal carbon plan "harms Saskatchewan families, communities and businesses".

In a statement, McKenna criticised Doug Ford, Andrew Sheer and Jason Kenney, saying "It is unfortunate that Conservative politicians. continue to waste taxpayers' dollars fighting climate action in court rather than taking real action to fight climate change".

The Canadian government had said it would impose a carbon tax on any province which did not have its own plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The constitutionality of the pricing system will ultimately be determined by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Saskatchewan's government also took the tax to its top court and lost.

The Trudeau government committed Canada in 2015 to the Paris Climate Agreement targets of keeping future global temperature increases "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and to limit any upticks to 1.5 degrees.

"We commend the Government of Ontario for their representation of the people of their province". "Ontario does not agree, however, that what it labels a "carbon tax" is the right way to do so".

The act now only applies in four provinces - Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan - which Ottawa says don't meet national standards.

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Yes, somehow the Ontario Court of Appeal looked at a fee imposed on a product by a government to fund government programs and deemed that it was not a tax. McKenna said earlier this month the federal carbon price would come into force in Alberta starting January 1, 2020.

Ontario's position was that there didn't need to be a carbon tax, or price if you prefer, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

During four days of submissions, Ontario insisted the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act would undermine co-operative federalism by allowing Ottawa to overstep the dividing line between federal and provincial spheres of authority. To boot they argued the province has its possess methodology to the climate-change whisper.

"They are regulatory in nature and connected to the purposes of the act", Strathy wrote.

Provincial lawyers told the Court of Appeal the federal government would end up with the power to regulate nearly every facet of life - such as when you can drive, where you can live, or whether you can have a wood-burning fireplace. The pricing mechanisms also "incentivize behavioural changes", he said.

Friday's decision marks the second consecutive legal setback for opponents of Ottawa's carbon tax system.

Ontario's top court has ruled the federal government's carbon charge is constitutionally sound.

No single province or group of provinces can establish minimum national standards to reduce emissions, the court said.

It has appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which could hear the case in December - two months after the next federal election in which climate policies are sure to be hotly debated.

At the time, Moe likened the ruling to losing the first game of a playoff series.

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