Premier Scott Moe praises Alberta court decision calling carbon tax unconstitutional
Alberta's Court of Appeal ruled the carbon tax is unconstitutional
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says his resolve has been strengthened in his government's ongoing battle against the federal carbon tax after Alberta's Court of Appeal ruled the tax unconstitutional on Monday.
Alberta is the third province to have its courts weigh in on the carbon tax but is the only province to find the tax unconstitutional. Courts in Saskatchewan and Ontario had previously decided the government was within its power to impose the tax.
"Today's ruling confirms that the federal government has no right to impose a carbon tax on some provinces but not others, based on how each province has chosen to legislate its own constitutional power," Moe said in Saskatoon after the 4-1 decision was made public.
Alberta judges ruled that the regulation of greenhouse gases is not a national responsibility and the carbon tax itself was labelled a "constitutional Trojan horse" of overreaching executive powers that could impede provinces in the future.
Moe said this now means Saskatchewan can re-examine its Prairie Resilience plan, a plan which did not include a price on carbon.
Moe called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to shelve the carbon tax: "it's the right thing to do, on behalf of Canadians," Moe said.
"It isn't reducing our carbon emissions," he said. "Most certainly, I will speak to Saskatchewan: the carbon tax does nothing to reduce our carbon emissions; it reduces our economic opportunity."
Studies of B.C.'s carbon tax, which started in 2008, have found that emissions declined in that province after the tax was introduced.
Saskatchewan's greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in Canada per capita, at 66.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, according to the Canada Energy Regulator. The national equivalent is 19.4 tonnes.
The Supreme Court of Canada is scheduled to hear two days of arguments March 24 and 25.
With files from Kelly Provost