In a split decision, Ontario’s top court has ruled that Ottawa’s carbon pricing scheme is constitutionally sound, does not intrude on provincial jurisdiction and has the critical purpose of fighting climate change.
The ruling follows a similar split decision last month by The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in favour of the federal government, which that province intends to challenge in the Supreme Court of Canada.
In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford expressed his disappointment with the ruling, while promising to use every tool at his disposal to challenge what he termed ”the carbon tax,” claiming that the charge is making life more expensive for Ontarians while putting jobs and businesses at risk.His environment minister meanwhile confirmed that Ontario will also be appealing this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Jeff Yurek said that Ontario doesn’t need a carbon tax to address climate change as the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan ”considers our province’s specific priorities, challenges and opportunities, and commits to meeting Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions target of 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, without imposing a carbon tax on the people of our province.”
The provincial NDP meanwhile are pleading with the Ford Tories not to appeal.
NDP energy and environment critic Peter Tabuns spoke at Queen’s Park not long after the ruling was handed down, calling any appeal a waste of money and stating that it’s time for the government to wake up to the threat of climate change and join the battle against it
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna welcomed the ruling, adding that it’s unfortunate that Conservative premiers continue to waste taxpayer dollars fighting climate action in court rather than taking real action.