June 28, 2019 6:43 am
Updated: June 29, 2019 1:25 am

Ontario court rules federal government’s carbon-pricing law is constitutional

What is carbon pricing and will it work?

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TORONTO – Ontario’s top court has ruled the federal government’s carbon pricing system is constitutionally sound and has the critical purpose of fighting climate change.

A panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal says in a split decision that Parliament has the jurisdiction to legislate in relation to matters of “national concern.”

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Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government had argued the federal carbon pricing scheme is a violation of the Constitution because it allows the federal government to intrude on provincial jurisdiction.

But the majority of the Appeal Court rejected Ontario’s contention that the carbon levy is an illegal tax.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Grant Huscroft disagreed that climate change amounts to an “emergency case” and warned against allowing rhetoric to colour the constitutional analysis.

WATCH: Saskatchewan loses carbon tax court challenge (May 3, 2019)

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal issued a similar split decision last month in favour of the federal government, which that province intends to challenge in the Supreme Court of Canada.

READ MORE: Feds to spend $60M in carbon tax revenue on green school retrofits

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says today’s ruling is good news for everyone who believes the need for climate action is urgent.

She adds it’s unfortunate that Conservative premiers continue to waste taxpayer dollars fighting climate action in court rather than taking real action.

 

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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