Saskatchewan carbon-tax ruling a victory for the planet, environment minister say

Saskatchewan carbon-tax ruling a victory for the planet, environment minister say

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has sided with the federal government in its battle with the province over the constitutionality of Ottawa's carbon levy.

A Canadian court ruled on Friday that a federal carbon-pricing plan does not violate the constitution, marking a victory for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over one of his trademark policies ahead of the October national election.

"Pollution doesn't know any borders".

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe speaks during a pro-pipeline rally at IJACK Technologies Inc. near Moosomin, Sask., on Saturday February 16, 2019.

The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan considers our province's specific priorities, challenges and opportunities, and commits to reducing our emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target that aligns with the federal government's Paris commitments, without imposing a carbon tax on the people of our province.

Kenney calls it a "carbon tax cash grab" and says he will support Ontario when in court.

"The factual record presented to the Court confirms that climate change caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions is one of the great existential issues of our time", read the court file.

It argued a carbon tax is unconstitutional because it's not applied evenly across the country and erodes the sovereignty of provincial jurisdiction.

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Mr Biden said the United States under the Republican firebrand "is about to squander alliances" built over generations. Since launching his campaign, Mr Trump has attacked Mr Biden, calling him "sleepy Joe".

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He also said the environment "is not a legislative subject matter that has been assigned to either Parliament or the provincial legislatures under the Constitution Act".

Lawyers for the federal government said the act was a valid exercise of Parliament's power under the POGG principle and argued for Ottawa to have jurisdiction over "the cumulative dimensions of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions", which the court rejected on the grounds that it could upset the balance of powers under federalism and would hamper provincial efforts to slash emissions.

"There is no recognized constitutional requirement that laws enacted by Parliament must apply uniformly from coast to coast to coast", Richards wrote in the decision released Friday.

The two dissenting judges said it is "constitutionally repugnant" for Ottawa to exercise its power to control measures taken by provinces on emissions.

There are still opportunities to win the case in the court challenges lead by other provinces that oppose the tax, he said, with the Supreme Court acting as the ultimate "game seven". "We will not miss a chance to stand up for the people of Ontario against this unfair tax", said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney.

"Ultimately this (question) will be decided in this fall's election at the ballot box".

Ottawa plans to boost the tax by $10 a tonne a year until it reaches $50 a tonne in 2022. "New Brunswick remains committed to doing its part to reduce carbon emissions". "There is no legal justification for the federal government to have rejected Manitoba's plan while approving less effective plans from other provinces".

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