Sask. Premier disappointed by Ontario court ruling on federal carbon pricing

Pablo Tucker
July 1, 2019

"The need for a collective approach to a matter of national concern, and the risk of non-participation by one or more provinces, permits Canada to adopt minimum national standards to reduce GHG emissions". This approach would reduce emissions from industry, helping Ontario achieve its proposed emissions reduction target without imposing a carbon tax on fuels.

"Following the decision, Doug Ford announced that he will seek leave to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court in the country, saying that 'the federal government's carbon tax is making life more expensive for Ontarians and is putting jobs and businesses at risk".

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. Provincial lawyers argued 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.

In agreement with Ford, Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Sheer has said that after October 21, provinces will no longer have to fight the carbon tax in court.


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 act became a sound response to potentially catastrophic climate change, federal attorneys argued. "They are not taxes".

The decision also said the Ottawa's carbon tax is critical for fighting climate change.

The produce of the price is to save a mark on carbon air pollution, thereby limiting salvage admission to to a scarce helpful resource: the ambiance's capability to pick out in greenhouse gases, Strathy said within the dedication.

The Ontario Court of Appeal decided today that the federal government is within their rights to put a price on the carbon tax, as well as collect revenues from polluters in provinces that are failing to meet the national standards. Changes taking effect this week mean that new natural-gas plants will have their emissions standard toughened each year after 2021, to the point that in 2030 they will pay the carbon price on every ounce of their emissions.


This power allows the federal government to legislate on matters of national importance that have a "singleness, distinctiveness and indivisibility" that clearly distinguishes them from distinctly provincial issues, read the majority ruling from May.

"The reduction of (greenhouse) emissions can not be dealt with in a piecemeal manner", the court said.

It has similarly imposed the tax on the provinces of New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and plans to do the same on January 1, 2020 in the province of Alberta.

In all, 14 interveners - among them some provinces, Indigenous groups and environmental and business organizations - lined up to defend or attack the federal law, with most siding with Ottawa. Indigenous groups, for example, stressed their vulnerability to global warming that they said could destroy their way of life.


In a joint statement, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Jeff Yurek said the province was "disappointed" with the ruling and would appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER