Ontario’s challenge against federal carbon tax in court Monday

The Province’s lawyer says giving the federal government the green light to decide how to combat climate change could have wide spread effects on our daily lives.

“Regulating greenhouse gases would give parliament the power to regulate not just prohibit all activities that cause greenhouse gas emissions which means basically all human activity because almost everything humans do has an impact on greenhouse gas emissions..what they drive, where they live, how they heat their homes.”

Josh Hunter says the federal carbon tax could negatively impact local business which is why the province should be able to take care of itself.

Some of the judges poked holes in that suggestion.

“Isn’t that part of the problem, there was an effort to cooperate to have carbon pricing across the country which there was a consensus that was the way to go and it didn’t work for obvious reasons.”

Arif Virani, a constitutional lawyer and the Liberal MP for Parkdale-High Park in Toronto feels that when it comes to preserving the environment, it’s everyone’s problem.

“Much like health, much like education there’s some shared jurisdiction we firmly believe we are in good constitutional and jurisdictional good authority to engage in doing exactly what we’re doing. Air travels across borders, so does water the environment has been deemed a cause of national concern in constitutional hearings in the past we’re confident it’ll be deemed a national constitutional concern this week.”

Ford scrapped Cap and Trade last year, which is why the federal carbon tax was implemented in the first place.

Hunter says the province is still developing its ‘Made-in-Ontario environmental plan.’ In the meantime, Virani says all the PC’s have done is misinform the public.

“He’s also came up with a plan to put up stickers on gas stations and to fine gas stations owners who decide not to partake in partisan propaganda that don’t point out that this is a revenue neutral plan. The priorities of this government is really lacking if i could be frank with you.”

The federal government’s lawyer is set to address the court tomorrow followed by interveners from the science, environmental and aboriginal community that plan to support the Trudeau government’s tax.

Outside the courthouse, hundreds of protesters gathered for a climate change rally in support of the carbon tax. Diana Weeks picks up that part of the story.

The hearing before the Ontario Court of Appeal is set to last four days and will be live streamed.


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