The Supreme Court of Canada will decide on whether the federal government can impose a carbon tax on the provinces. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS) The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to clarify the limits of the nation’s rape-shield law. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland have intervener status

Nelson and Rossland will be joining four other B.C. municipalities as interveners in a Supreme Court of Canada case on carbon pricing in the spring of 2020.

The two Kootenay cities, as well as Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish and Richmond, will ask the court to uphold the Federal Government’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

Earlier this year Saskatchewan sued the federal government over the imposition of a carbon tax and lost. The current case is Saskatchewan’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The issue is whether the federal government can legally impose a carbon tax on provinces.

The municipal intervention was started by the Climate Caucus, which includes more than 200 councillors, mayors, and regional directors across Canada. Nelson city councillor Rik Logtenberg is the founder and chair of the caucus.

He told the Star that the interveners will argue that what is commonly called a “carbon tax” is actually not a tax but a regulatory charge that should be applicable to everyone because climate change affects everyone.

“We are making the case that given the nature of climate change… it clearly [should not be] targetted,” he said. “It is broadly applicable, not just the government trying to generate revenue.”

He said the intervention is also based on a section of the Constitution of Canada that states that the federal government may pass legislation to regulate behaviour in the interests of “peace, order, and good government.”

Vancouver lawyer Don Lidstone, who is the City of Nelson’s lawyer, will handle the case for the interveners pro bono (for no fee). But there will still be filing fees and other expenses to be covered. Nelson council has approved spending up to $2,000 on such expenses.

Rossland mayor Kathy Moore said in a news release that some people might ask how a small municipality can affect a big national issue.

“This is an issue that impacts all Canadians, whether we live in large urban centres or small rural communities,” she said. “We invite local governments across the country to pass motions supporting local government intervention in the Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case. We are stronger together.”

Nelson mayor John Dooley said in a news release that in 2007 his city signed on to the B.C. Climate Action Charter, and has since met or exceeded the targets.

“We believe there needs to be a national commitment to the reduction of carbon to meet the goals of a cleaner, more sustainable Canada,” Dooley said. “Implementing a fair price on carbon across all of Canada will create a level playing field and local governments will benefit from the federal carbon pricing scheme.”

Related:

• Saskatchewan, Ottawa carbon tax case ‘monumental’ for Constitution: expert

• Saskatchewan top court rules 3-2 federal carbon tax is constitutional



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LOOK BACK: Port Alberni’s first clocktower

Take a peek at Port Alberni’s history with the Alberni Valley Museum

QUINN’S QUIPS: Reconciliation is only as strong as its partnerships

Bamfield Road deal is an ideal example of the province working with First Nations

ARTS AROUND: Last chance to view First Nations art exhibit in Port Alberni

‘Together’ runs at Rollin Art Centre until the end of September

Smoky skies don’t stop plein air Paint Out in Port Alberni

Painting took place at Sproat Lake and Harbour Quay

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Most Read