Saskatchewan has launched a constitutional reference case in court against a federally imposed carbon tax.
The government took action in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal today, asking the court to decide the constitutionality of the federal legislation.
The specific question for the court is: the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act was introduced into Parliament on March 28, 2018, as Part 5 of Bill C-74 — if enacted, will this act be unconstitutional in whole or in part?
Premier Scott Moe said the province doesn’t believe Ottawa has the right to impose a tax against the wishes of the people of Saskatchewan.
Justice Minister Don Morgan said the government’s lawyers believe the province can successfully challenge the tax because it imposes it in some provinces but not in others due to how each province chose to proceed.
“This runs contrary to the principle of federalism, which is one of the bedrocks of our constitutional division of powers, because it fails to respect the sovereignty and autonomy of the provinces with respect to matters under their jurisdiction,” Morgan said.
Saskatchewan has released its Prairie Resilience plan (PDF format), which it says will help people adapt to and mitigate climate change without the need for a tax.