The long-awaited Supreme Court of Canada hearing on the federal government’s carbon tax program gets underway this week.
Our attention has been justifiably focused on COVID-19 and the economy, but the court’s ultimate decision on the tax could have long-lasting implications.
This is not the first go-round for the carbon tax plan. Appellate courts in Saskatchewan and Ontario have already upheld the law, while the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled the plan was unconstitutional.
If you tune in to the Parliamentary Channel to listen to a debate about whether carbon pricing is an effective tool to fight climate change, you’ll be disappointed, because that debate seems to have been settled.
Even the challenging provinces have conceited that carbon taxing is an effective tool.
Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan have given up arguing that point; they argue that the provinces, not the federal government, should design and implement such policies.
That begs a question: would a patchwork plan of 10 or 11 different carbon pricing plans effectively deal with the climate crisis?
But we digress, because this court case is all about jurisdiction, not efficacy.
It’s hoped that the court’s ruling will finally put an end to the legal debate about carbon pricing.
The political debate, however, is likely to rage for years to come.
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