Supreme Court Rules the Federal Carbox Tax is Constitutional

·4 min read

The Supreme Court of Canada has spoken, and it doesn’t look good for Saskatchewan as Premier Moe loses the carbon tax battle once again.

After 3 years, the Supreme Court issued its decision on whether the federal government can constitutionally charge the province’s carbon tax; with a 6-3 split, they found that the carbon tax is constitutionally allowed.

“Just because you now do have the authority to enact a tax like this, a very divisive policy, it doesn’t mean you always should,” Moe said just hours after the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its decision.

Shortly after the Supreme Court decision, Moe went on Twitter with the following statement:

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada does not change our core conviction that the federal carbon tax is bad environmental policy, bad economic policy, and simply wrong. While the Supreme Court has determined that Prime Minister Trudeau has the legal right to impose a carbon tax, it doesn’t mean he should, and it doesn’t make the carbon tax any less punitive for Saskatchewan people.

The ruling comes with a strong dissenting opinion - one that warns that this decision has far-reaching implications for federal intrusion into areas of provincial jurisdiction. Saskatchewan will remain vigilant in defending our constitutional jurisdiction from further infringement from this federal government.

From the first day that his carbon tax was imposed, Saskatchewan people have seen the federal carbon tax for what it is - a blunt, ineffective instrument that kills jobs, threatens the competitiveness of our industries and penalizes essential, daily activities of families across our province. Our government will continue to make every effort to protect Saskatchewan families, workers and businesses from the negative consequences of the federal carbon tax.

Later today, I will outline measures that Saskatchewan will take in the months ahead to protect Saskatchewan people while addressing climate change. We will forge our own path without being subject to the punitive and ineffective carbon tax imposed by Prime Minister Trudeau and the federal government.

Moe wasn’t the only vocal political leader as Ryan Meili also issued the following press release:

"The Saskatchewan NDP Caucus is focused on creating good jobs here in Saskatchewan, and prosperity for our province’s families and businesses. Today’s ruling means that Trudeau’s economy-wide carbon tax will continue to take more from the people of Saskatchewan than they get back, with people living in rural and remote areas being most affected. That’s not right.”

It continued, “This economy-wide price on carbon is not something that Saskatchewan people, or the Saskatchewan NDP support. Scott Moe chose to maintain the Trudeau carbon tax for two whole years instead of trying to negotiate a better deal.”

“With the decision reached today, Scott Moe and the Sask. Party government must act quickly to negotiate a better deal that protects Saskatchewan’s economy and gives working families a break, including:

The federal government must press pause on its plans to dramatically increase the carbon tax, especially while so many families across the country - not just in Saskatchewan - are struggling to come through the pandemic. Now is not the time to increase costs on working families.

Justin Trudeau must also acknowledge that the carbon tax disproportionately affects the Saskatchewan economy. With that fact comes a responsibility on the federal government to make dedicated investments that will make a difference here including support for workers in our hard-hit industries and helping to create good sustainable jobs in renewable energy. Saskatchewan has many opportunities in biofuels, geothermal, solar and wind energy, but we need federal support to kickstart these new industries.

The people of Saskatchewan know climate change is real, and want to do their part to reduce emissions while creating good jobs for the future in wind, solar, and geothermal. It’s time for Justin Trudeau and Scott Moe to put wrangling aside and get to work - together - on real solutions across the board that will ensure good jobs and prosperity for all of us.”

Trudeau said that Ottawa plans to gradually increase a federal tax on carbon emissions to approximately $170 Canadian dollars by 2030.

Climate change is an issue in Saskatchewan, Canada and the rest of the world. Our federal government has the constitutional right to charge a carbon tax but does that make it the best option?

Has the carbon tax been completely investigated regarding how to fairly and properly charge people, or could there be a fairer way to handle the carbon taxes increases?

Gary Horseman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Four-Town Journal