After pandemic delay, Supreme Court to hear Sask., Ontario carbon tax arguments this month
Case set to be heard Sept. 22-23, will be webcast live
The Supreme Court of Canada is set to hear arguments from three provinces opposing the federal carbon tax starting Sept. 22, after months of delays due to COVID-19.
Representatives for the governments of Saskatchewan and Ontario were originally set to lay out their arguments in the spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellations through March, April and May of this year.
Saskatchewan and Ontario both challenged the tax in lower courts, and in both cases, Ottawa was deemed within its rights to enact the policy.
In May of 2019, Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal ruled in a 3-2 decision that the federal plan was constitutional. In June of that year, Ontario's Court of Appeal ruled 4-1 in favour of the federal government's position.
Both provinces appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada last year.
Alberta won a court challenge in that province last winter, but appealed that decision to the Supreme Court in March, hoping to have the case heard at the same time as the other two provinces.
Ottawa argues taxing fuels that produce greenhouse gases when they are burned creates an incentive to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel use, thereby cutting overall emissions.
Several provinces have argued carbon taxes raise prices for consumers but don't cut emissions.
The federal carbon tax applies only to provinces that do not have an equivalent price on pollution of their own.
Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan has previously said the arguments at the Supreme Court will differ from the previously unsuccessful challenges in Saskatchewan and Ontario.
The case set to take place on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 and will be webcast live.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC's Adam Hunter