Quebec, P.E.I. plan to intervene when Sask. challenges carbon tax in Supreme Court
Published Monday, July 8, 2019 11:07AM CST
Last Updated Monday, July 8, 2019 6:38PM CST
The government of Quebec says it will act as an intervener when the Saskatchewan government takes its challenge of the carbon tax to the Supreme Court later this year.
The country’s highest court will hear the challenge on Dec. 5.
The province took its appeal to the Supreme Court after the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal voted the federally imposed carbon tax is constitutional.
"Quebec also believes this is an infringement in provincial jurisdiction, of which we also believe the federal government is in an area that isn't theirs to ultimately operate,” Premier Scott Moe said at a press conference in Calgary this morning. “There is a variance of opinions across the nation, but the fact of the matter is we're going to come together with our Ministers of Justice in the weeks ahead, to ensure that we are going to be putting forward the best presentation to the Supreme Court, and those that are intervening will be invited to come together to collaborate to ensure that we are putting forward the strongest case possible."
Quebec Minister of Justice and Attorney General Sonia LeBel said the province is intervening to ensure the “legal and economic security” of Quebec’s Cap and Trade System.
"It is important for our government to intervene in this debate to ensure that Quebec can defend its position and that it is heard before the Supreme Court of Canada,” she said in a release. “The Government of Quebec has shown real leadership in implementing its own carbon exchange.”
Quebec added that it plans to intervene in order to “protect the autonomy of provinces and their ability to decide for themselves what concerns their own fields of competence.”
Prince Edward Island is also entering as an intervener.
P.E.I.'s Progressive Conservative Premier Dennis King says he does not want this to be interpreted as another Progressive Conservative premier joining the "resistance" of other conservative leaders across the country fighting the carbon tax.
P.E.I. and Quebec both say they want to speak up for their own carbon-pricing systems.
Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba did not have their own carbon-pricing plan in place by April 1 and were therefore subject to the federal government’s plan. Manitoba filed papers in federal court earlier this year for its own challenge, and Alberta is now also challenging the constitutionality of the carbon tax. Ontario’s highest court decided in a split decision on June 28 that Ottawa’s tax is constitutional.
With files from the Canadian Press