“Alberta Court Rules Federal Carbon Tax Is Unconstitutional”

“The Alberta Court of Appeal has concluded the federal government’s carbon tax is an unconstitutional intrusion into provincial powers, handing Alberta a key victory in its battle with Ottawa over climate-change policies.

In a 4-1 decision, the court rejected the federal Liberal government’s claim that the carbon tax falls within its powers to address matters of national concern under the “peace, order and good government” clause of the Constitution. The highest courts of Ontario and Saskatchewan sided with Ottawa last year in similar cases in those provinces, setting up a hearing next month where the Supreme Court of Canada will decide on the future of the federal carbon tax.

None of the rulings so far, including Alberta’s, are binding.

Writing for the majority, Alberta Chief Justice Catherine Fraser warned that the law creating the federal tax is a “constitutional Trojan horse” that would grant Ottawa wide powers to intervene in provincial affairs. “Buried within it are wide-ranging discretionary powers the federal government has reserved unto itself. Their final shape, substance and outer limits have not yet been revealed,” she wrote.”

Justin Giovannetti reports for the Toronto Globe and Mail February 24, 2020.