Sask. government's carbon tax challenge set to begin
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2019 2:55PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 12, 2019 6:54PM CST
Many eyes will be on the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal this week as the court hears the provincial government’s constitutional challenge over the federal carbon tax.
Ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, a number of groups and individuals on both sides previewed arguments Tuesday.
One of those groups is Climate Justice Saskatoon, an environmental advocate.
“Climate Justice Saskatoon believes that tackling climate change is not just about the environment, but also about workers’ rights, Indigenous rights, and protecting vulnerable members of our society,” said Kathleen Aikens with Climate Justice Saskatoon. “The more we delay action such as pricing pollution, the more devastating and costly the results will be for all of us.”
Meanwhile, Premier Scott Moe reiterated his anti-carbon tax stance on Twitter, saying he’s standing up for the people of his province with the carbon tax challenge.
Moe has long voiced his opposition to the federal carbon tax, saying the tax would hurt the provincial economy.
The province says its own emissions plan is enough, and will argue in court that the federal government forcing a carbon tax is “constitutionally illegitimate” because it will not apply evenly across all of the provinces.
Saskatchewan’s attorney general says he has no doubt the challenge will end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Don Morgan says his government will respect the ruling from the provincial Appeal Court, but he says other provinces will look carefully at what’s decided and could take the matter further.
"A tax can be levied by either the federal government or the provincial government uniformly across all Canadians or all Canadian entities," Morgan said.
"What the federal government has decided to do is levy at different rates depending on their level of comfort with the carbon policies that exists in any give province."
Morgan says he agrees climate change is a national concern, but believes Ottawa should be working to find other ways to mitigate emissions.
The arguments are set to take place before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal on Feb. 13 and 14.
With files from Wayne Mantyka and The Canadian Press