Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton on April 6, 2017. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Feds acting like ‘Big Brother’ on carbon price law, court told

Saskatchewan says the federal government is intruding on provincial authority

A lawyer for Saskatchewan says Ottawa’s carbon-pricing law amounts to Big Brother forcing its will on the provinces.

He tells Ontario’s top court that it’s no coincidence the law only applies in four provinces with Conservative governments.

The court is hearing from interveners today on Day 3 of Ontario’s constitutional challenge to the federal law.

Like Ontario, Saskatchewan calls the federal charge imposed in four provinces on fossil fuels an illegal tax.

Ottawa maintains the law is needed to fight greenhouse gas emissions in those provinces that aren’t doing enough.

READ MORE: Feds could tell you when to drive if carbon price law stands, court told

But Saskatchewan says the federal government is intruding on provincial authority simply because it doesn’t like provincial policies.

“This Big-Brother-Ottawa-knows-best is inimical to federalism,” lawyer Mitch McAdam told the five-justice panel. “You don’t need to throw out the Constitution in this case in order to save the planet.”

The federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which levies a charge on gasoline, other fossil and on industrial polluters, kicked in on April 1. While Ottawa calls the levy — currently four cents a litre on gasoline — a regulatory charge designed to change behaviour, Ontario and Saskatchewan call it an illegal tax.

“Consumers are simply told to do one thing: Pay more tax,” McAdam said. “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”

Earlier, a lawyer for British Columbia, which sides with Ottawa, said Canadians elected the federal government to address climate change. The law, he said, doesn’t get in the way of provinces’ ability to do their part.

“Each jurisdiction can innovate,” the lawyer said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Charstate Community Garden almost ready for seeds

Still room on the sign-up list to get a plot at Campbell River’s newest community garden

‘Two Campbell Rivers’: new report sheds light on history of drug use in a boom-and-bust city

Wave of overdose deaths prompted study into the local drivers of substance use

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at car dealership in Campbell River turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

BC Transit adds hospital bus stop, responding to public feedback

About 1,600 signed petition for bus stop to be added to Campbell River route

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read