Saskatchew­an takes car­bon tax fight to Supreme Court

The Prince George Citizen - - News -

SASKA­TOON — The Saskatchew­an gov­ern­ment has filed no­tice that it is tak­ing its chal­lenge of the fed­eral car­bon tax to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Jus­tice Min­is­ter Don Mor­gan says the province will ask the high court to rule on whether the tax is con­sti­tu­tional and whether Ot­tawa has the ju­ris­dic­tion to im­pose it.

Saskatchew­an’s Court of Ap­peal ruled in a split de­ci­sion ear­lier this month that the tax is con­sti­tu­tional. It also said that es­tab­lish­ing min­i­mum na­tional stan­dards for a price on green­house gas emis­sions falls un­der fed­eral ju­ris­dic­tion.

Saskatchew­an Premier Scott Moe, who has said the tax hurts his province eco­nom­i­cally, promised there would be an ap­peal.

Mor­gan said the province has two months to file a fac­tum to the Supreme Court.

“Our gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to stand up for Saskatchew­an peo­ple against what we be­lieve is an un­con­sti­tu­tional tax on their fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties, and busi­nesses,” Mor­gan said.

He added that if the Lib­er­als lose the fed­eral elec­tion in Oc­to­ber, there may be no fed­eral tax left to fight. The Con­ser­va­tives have promised to scrap the tax.

“The Supreme Court could say it’s moot, it’s not worth hear­ing be­cause the gov­ern­ment has changed the law,” said Mor­gan. “Or they could say, ‘No, this is a mat­ter of im­port. We want to cre­ate a prece­dent.”’

A gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said in an email that the province does not have to ask for a leave to ap­peal in this case.

The fed­eral tax has been im­posed on prov­inces with­out their own car­bon levies: On­tario, New Brunswick, Saskatchew­an and Man­i­toba.

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