Canada’s Carbon Price is Constitutional, Supreme Court Rules
In a split decision, the judges on the Supreme Court of Canada found that climate change poses a real, serious threat to the world — one that’s serious enough to allow the federal government to step on some provincial toes-
The decision was the culmination of years of disputes between some provinces and the federal government over the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA). The law, which was introduced in 2018, laid out a national framework for pricing carbon – one that applies to everyday consumers as well as industrial emitters.
The act details a minimum set of standards for pricing carbon, leaving provinces free to establish their own policies beyond that initial threshold. However, if those provincial policies don’t meet the standards set out in the federal law, Ottawa slaps its federal carbon tax on the province.
Opponents called the Act a “constitutional Trojan horse” as they suggested Ottawa could regulate whatever it wanted as a result of this law, because so many aspects of the economy produce emissions. Others called it a monumental step forward for climate action and smart economic policy.