Tax & Accounting May 03, 2019

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upholds federal carbon tax

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal released its decision today upholding the federal government’s right to impose a carbon tax. In a split decision, Chief Justice Richards, writing for the majority, stated at para 164:

“Having worked through both the pith and substance of the Act and the scope of Parliament’s jurisdiction in relation to greenhouse gas pricing, it is now possible to determine the validity of the Act. As explained earlier, this involves an inquiry as to whether the pith and substance of the Act comes within a head of federal authority. The answer to that inquiry is self-evident in light of the foregoing analysis. The pith and substance of the Act is about establishing minimum national standards of price stringency for greenhouse gas emissions. Parliament has jurisdiction over this subject matter by virtue of the national concern branch of Peace, Order, and good Government. It follows that the Act is constitutionally valid.”

And in conclusion held:

“The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is not unconstitutional either in whole or in part”.

Saskatchewan’s Attorney General is on record as saying prior to the release of the decision that, if the court did not hold in Saskatchewan’s favour, that it would be seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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