August 2, 2018 1:19 pm

Saskatchewan ‘strongly considering’ intervening in Ontario’s challenge to carbon tax

Ontario Premier Rob Ford, left, and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe talk with reporters as the Canadian premiers meet in St. Andrews, N.B. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. Ford and Moe have agreed to fight the federal government plan to impose a carbon tax.

Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press
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The Saskatchewan government says it supports Ontario’s announcement it will challenge the federal carbon tax, but has not yet decided to intervene.

Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said they will be moving forward with a constitutional challenge on Ottawa’s plan to impose a carbon tax on provinces that don’t have their own carbon pricing system.

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READ MORE: Ontario government to challenge federal carbon tax plan in court

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said they back Ontario’s challenge.

“Our two provinces are united in the belief that a federal carbon tax is an ineffective policy that will not significantly reduce emissions and will instead make life unaffordable for families, and that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to impose a carbon tax on certain provinces based on their evaluation of provincial climate change policies,” Morgan said in a statement.

“Saskatchewan Justice will review Ontario’s constitutional challenge and strongly consider intervening in that case.”

A federally imposed carbon price would start at $20 per tonne and increase to a level of $50 a tonne by 2022.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said while they consider intervening in that case, the province has filed its factum in its own challenge to the carbon tax.

“It is our position that under the Canadian constitution, provinces are sovereign in their assigned areas of jurisdiction,” Moe said in a statement posted to Facebook.

“Therefore, the federal carbon tax is constitutionally illegitimate because it applies only in those provinces that have not exercised their own jurisdiction in a way that the federal government thinks they should.”

READ MORE: Moe, Ford join forces to oppose federal carbon pricing at premiers’ meeting in New Brunswick

Moe added the federal government has no constitutional authority to “second guess” matters that fall under provincial jurisdiction.

“That is exactly what the federal government is attempting to do by imposing a carbon tax only in certain provinces, like Saskatchewan, based on their evaluation of provincial climate change and carbon pricing policies,” Moe stated.

Ontario has said it will be intervening in Saskatchewan’s court case against the carbon pricing policy.

READ MORE: 2 of 3 Canadians believe provinces should have last word on carbon pricing

A recent poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute claims two in three (64 per cent) Canadians say provinces should choose their own method on how to reduce carbon emissions.

Close to 88 per cent of those polled in Saskatchewan agree with Moe’s decision to challenge Trudeau’s carbon pricing plan in court.

-With files from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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