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

Performances in the Park 2020 applications open until March 3

Indigenous and cultural performers, musicians, spoken word, dance, theatre are all welcome.

Lakecity Secondary drama students prepare two Christmas one-acts

The culmination of the drama program, these productions are the result of months of work

RANCH MUSINGS: Dealing with food price increases

Increases in the cost of food in the year to come will cost the average Canadian family $487

Earth Friendly Holiday event a popular affair this year

A hundred intrepid crafters of all ages came together at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre

PHOTOS: WLST prepares farcical Roman musical for January

A comedic musical romp entitled A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is coming soon

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read