Court rules carbon tax constitutional

Saskatchewan will appeal the court decision that found Ottawa has the authority to impose a carbon tax.

Premier Scott Moe said the 3-2 split among the opinions of the five justices makes for a strong argument.

“We will be closely reviewing today’s ruling and it will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada,” he told reporters May 3.

“There are strong grounds for an appeal.”

Saskatchewan argued before the court in February that the provinces should have authority over carbon emissions, not the federal government. Its lawyers said the carbon tax, which came into effect April 1, is unfair.

In a written decision, a majority of judges on the panel determined that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act was “not unconstitutional in whole or in part.” A minority found the act was “wholly unconstitutional.”

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association said it supports taking further court action, noting that the federal carbon tax impacts farmers’ bottom lines.

The National Farmers Union was an intervener in the case supporting the carbon tax, and board member Dean Harder said provinces and farmers must work together to reduce their impact on the environment.

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