The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is hoping to intervene in the Saskatchewan government’s constitutional challenge of the federal government’s plan for a national price on carbon.
Chief Allan Adam says Canada will never be able to address climate change if the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rules that Ottawa’s carbon-price plan violates the charter of rights.
He’s calling the province’s own proposed climate change measures deeply cynical.
Adam says not a single First Nation was consulted in its development.
He says failing to fight climate change damages treaty rights.
“If we cannot hunt, trap, fish, and gather in our region, cannot travel along the Athabasca River, and cannot use the winter road, we will become more isolated in a land that no longer sustains us,” he said in a release Friday.
“Future generations will view (Premier Scott) Moe’s actions as a catastrophe.”
Ottawa has asked all provinces to put a minimum price on emissions of $20 per tonne by Jan. 1, with a federal carbon tax imposed on provinces that don’t follow suit. The revenue generated by the tax in those provinces would be rebated to residents.
Saskatchewan’s plan to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions includes a requirement for large emitters to register with the province. They could receive credits for reaching targets.
Adam’s community is the latest group hoping to appear before the Saskatchewan Appeal Court.
Two environmental groups have applied to speak in support of Ottawa, as has the government of British Columbia.
The governments of New Brunswick and Ontario have asked to intervene on Saskatchewan’s side.
More groups are expected to apply before an intervener hearing is held in about a week.
New Brunswick will also apply to make arguments in a lawsuit being brought by the Ontario government.