Supreme Court case on carbon price is about climate change, not the Constitution

After a six-month delay, the Supreme Court of Canada is hearing arguments against the federal carbon pricing system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Jason MacLean, University of New Brunswick and Nathalie Chalifour, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

The Supreme Court of Canada begins hearing appeals in three cases on Sept. 22 to determine whether Ottawa’s national carbon price is constitutional. Appellate courts in Saskatchewan and Ontario had previously upheld the law, but the Alberta Court of Appeal had ruled that it was unconstitutional and intruded on provincial powers.

Contrary to what critics of the federal carbon-pricing legislation say, neither the provinces’ authority to act on climate change nor the balance of the Canadian federation is in jeopardy.

But what is at stake is Canada’s ability to contribute to global climate action under the 2015 Paris Agreement. The agreement aims to limit global warming to 1.5 C above the pre-industrial norm, a goal increasingly on the public’s mind as wildfire smoke blows across the country.

In 2016, Ottawa obtained provincial and territorial consensus on a coordinated national approach in the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The Vancouver Declaration begat the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, a detailed action plan agreed to by all except Saskatchewan.

In 2018, Ottawa enacted the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to implement the Pan-Canadian Framework. The act operates as a backstop — a national safety net — with two parts. The first imposes a charge on a broad range of greenhouse gas emitting fuels. The second establishes an “output-based performance system” that requires industrial facilities to pay for the emissions that exceed an annual limit.

Read more: Here’s what the carbon tax means for you

Crucially, the backstop only applies in provinces or territories that request it or that have failed to price emissions through a direct price or cap-and-trade system at the minimum benchmark level established by Ottawa. Additionally, the backstop is “revenue neutral,” meaning that any money collected by Ottawa is returned to the jurisdiction. Provinces and territories are otherwise free to regulate within their borders, allowing them to impose even stronger limits on emissions.

Challenging co-ordinated climate action

With this co-ordinated national approach in place, Canada appeared poised to meaningfully contribute to global climate action, with both levels of government acting co-operatively.

Soon after, however, Ontario and Alberta adopted what’s been dubbed the “Saskatchewan strategy” of challenging the act on jurisdictional grounds. Each province asked its respective Court of Appeal for an advisory opinion on whether Ottawa has the jurisdiction to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Jason Kenney and Doug Ford clasp raised hands
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney and Ontario Premier Doug Ford cheer with supporters at an anti-carbon tax rally in Calgary, Oct. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

In 2019, a majority of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal concluded that Ottawa has jurisdiction under the “national concern branch” of the federal government’s constitutional “peace, order and good government” power. Shortly thereafter, a majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal reached the same conclusion. In 2020, however, a majority of the Alberta Court of Appeal concluded Ottawa lacked jurisdiction to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. All three decisions are now before the Supreme Court of Canada.

The thrust of these provinces’ constitutional challenges is that affirming Ottawa’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions would intrude too deeply into provincial jurisdiction and jeopardize the balance of the Canadian federation.

But the “Saskatchewan strategy” of challenging Ottawa’s jurisdiction was as much about continuing a public policy dispute by other means. Climate policy, the provinces and their supporters argue, should be considered a local matter best left to local governments consistent with the constitutional principle of subsidiarity, the idea that public policy issues should be addressed at the most effective level of government closest to the citizens affected.

Neither argument is sound.

Canadian federalism is flexible and co-operative

Recognizing the federal government’s jurisdiction to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as a “national concern” won’t displace provincial climate regulations or alter the balance of federalism. The Supreme Court of Canada made this abundantly clear in R. vs. Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd. more than 30 years ago.

That case concerned the federal government’s jurisdiction to regulate marine pollution, including dumping occurring entirely within the coastal waters of British Columbia. The court recognized federal jurisdiction to regulate marine pollution because it’s a transboundary issue reaching beyond both B.C.‘s and Canada’s borders.

A gas pump
In 2019, Doug Ford’s Ontario government required gas stations to display a sticker at the pumps that said, ‘the federal carbon tax will cost you.’ The Ontario court has since said the stickers were unconstitutional. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Since the Crown Zellerbach case, the Supreme Court of Canada has further clarified that where both provincial and federal laws apply to a regulatory problem, those laws may operate alongside one another. This overlap helps protect against the creation of legal vacuums where neither level of government acts, which would defeat the very purpose of a federal-provincial division of powers; it also recognizes the increasing complexity of Canadian society.

Only in cases where federal and provincial laws genuinely conflict — where it’s impossible to follow both laws or where a provincial law frustrates the purpose of a federal law — is federal law paramount. And courts will construe such potential conflicts narrowly to safeguard provincial jurisdiction and facilitate federal-provincial cooperation.

Read more: Energy development wins when it’s pitted against endangered species

This is how effective environmental regulation works in Canada. The City of Victoria, for instance, regulates sewage discharge into the ocean alongside federal law. Ottawa regulates toxic pollution federally under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act in conjunction with the provinces’ environmental pollution laws. Species at risk are protected in the same way: there’s a federal safety net to backstop provincial endangered species laws.

The urgent need for co-operative climate action

The principle of subsidiarity wisely advises that regulatory action should be taken by the level of government that’s most effective and closest to the citizens who are affected. Opponents of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act argue that this supports provincial authority over greenhouse gas emissions. But it equally supports the argument that the regulatory response must be global, because climate change affects everyone. In the absence of a global constitution, that means it requires a national response.

In the current Canadian context, there’s no evidence that the provinces alone can provide an effective level of climate governance. Rising emissions from the Alberta and Saskatchewan oilsands will hamper Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Ontario has withdrawn from the Québec-California carbon market, eliminated its renewable energy investment programs and implemented a less ambitious climate plan that’s estimated to increase carbon emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2030.

Read more: Work on climate, not weaponizing the Constitution

While the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act isn’t sufficient to meet Canada’s initial — and notably unambitious — target under the Paris Agreement, to say nothing of Canada’s net-zero aspiration, this doesn’t strengthen the provinces’ argument for local regulatory authority. Instead, it further illustrates the urgent need for greater federal-provincial co-operation on climate action.

In 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on 1.5 C of global warming sounded a clarion call for “rapid,” “far-reaching” and “unprecedented” transitions to achieve “deep emissions reductions in all sectors.” We can ill-afford jurisdictional wrangling and the politicization of constitutional principle. Every moment of delay makes these transitions more difficult and costly, and reduces the likelihood that we’ll avert the devastating harms of climate destablization.

Jason MacLean, Assistant Professor of Law, University of New Brunswick and Nathalie Chalifour, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Splitdog Homee
September 26, 2020 10:27 pm

Crazy Candians deserve everything they want. Do you think they want Seattle?

Chris Riley
Reply to  Splitdog Homee
September 26, 2020 11:03 pm

That would have to depend how much money the U.S.A would pay Canada to take it off our hands. My calculations indicate that it would be worth at least 1 trillion in cash from us to be rid of the stupidity capital of the U.S.A.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Chris Riley
September 27, 2020 10:03 am

Thanks but we already have vancouver, whatever stoopid Seattle brings to the party is hard to match.

As per our poodle-based media approach there is almost no discussion of these cases

These cases should be turned into a public trial of alarmist climate science, if the feds want to bulldoze provincial rights then they have to show proof that damage is and will occur, an impossibility.

I think the provinces are failing, limiting thus to jurisdiction

Reply to  Splitdog Homee
September 27, 2020 5:44 am

We can ill-afford jurisdictional wrangling and the politicization of constitutional principle.

Ha, laws, constitution ? Just silly wrangling trying to get in the way of politicization of climate change.


very old white guy
Reply to  Greg
September 28, 2020 7:25 am

It’s a tax and the constitution has nothing to do with it.

Reply to  Splitdog Homee
September 27, 2020 9:06 am

Sweeten the deal and throw in Detroit. Heck, it even sounds French!

Mayor of Venus
Reply to  Spetzer86
September 27, 2020 6:26 pm

Detroit “sounds” French? Reminds me of attending a conference in Boston, and after that some of us were going to a spectroscopy conference in Columbus, Ohio. There were no direct flights from Boston to Columbus…some of us had flights to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago etc to connect from there to Columbus. One colleague said her flight was to “De-Twa”. She was from France, and she was pronouncing Detroit as it “sounds” in French… took a while to figure out where she was going.

Reply to  Splitdog Homee
September 27, 2020 10:05 pm

Jason MacLean, Assistant Professor of Law, University of New Brunswick and Nathalie Chalifour, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa.

What you have published above is utter drivel – you have climate science completely wrong, so your paper is simply the prattling of imbeciles.

I am being somewhat circumspect here. Feel free to contact me, and I’ll tell you how I really feel.

Dennis G Sandberg
September 26, 2020 10:51 pm

How can the Canadian court not decide that CO2 is a killer and that a carbon tax will help save the planet.

Step 1: Listen to the UN IPCC

In 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on 1.5 C of global warming sounded a clarion call for “rapid,” “far-reaching” and “unprecedented” transitions to achieve “deep emissions reductions in all sectors” We can ill-afford jurisdictional wrangling and the politicization of constitutional principle. Every moment of delay makes these transitions more difficult and costly, and reduces the likelihood that we’ll avert the devastating harms of climate destablization.

Step 2, Listen to the SCOTUS
WASHINGTON (April 2, 2007) – After a four-year court battle, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled today 5-4 that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping emissions are “air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act, and that the U.S. government already has authority to start curbing them.
The Supreme Court’s decision, in Massachusetts v. EPA, repudiates the Bush administration’s do-nothing policy on global warming. For years, the administration has denied carbon dioxide is an air pollutant that EPA can control under the Clean Air Act.
“Today the nation’s highest court has set the White House straight.

Step 3 Reject the climate deniers

Climate deniers correctly point out the CO2 is plant food, that any temperature increase from “fossil fuel emissions”is negligible and miniscule. that wind and solar are unworkable without impossibly expensive storage and that “renewables” can not be manufactured without “fossil fuels”. Facts don’t matter. No justice only politics. Sorry about that Canadians.

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
September 27, 2020 6:05 am

The legal profession is just not competent to decide upon scientific matters. The whole process is totally alien to the way science evolves and few or any of the participants are scientifically competent to make judgements.
Item 2) above in your comment is a case in point. To conclude that CO2 is a pollutant quite frankly flies in the face of scientific reality.
Those that attempt to use the law in the furtherance of their political agenda do so to obscure the weaknesses in their scientific positions and know full well what they are doing.
Incidentally: The legal ‘Deeming’ of biomass burning to be ‘ carbon neutral’ is again an example of where legal scientific incompetence may be seen. The impact of which we are now experiencing.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
September 27, 2020 5:11 pm

Being carbon neutral does not mean burning biomass is GHGe neutral. The reasons are organic carbons (cooling) and CO and methane (mostly) which are warming.

The net effect of most biomass combustion is cooling (Ref IPCC). Most, means all the forests and grasslands and agri-wastes that go up in smoke. If all the combustion were cleaned up the net effect might be warming.

Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
September 27, 2020 9:48 pm

The scientific profession, as it currently stands, is also not competent to judge on the issue of CO2 and climate change. Most are desperate to get the next grant approved to keep their research going and have been brainwashed against even basic freedom and capitalism that they don’t realize how stupid their alarmism sounds. Here in Canada I could easily experience a 60°C swing (-25 to 35°C) over the whole year and 20°C in a single day, but we’re supposed to freak out about 3°C over a hundred years? When we’re still coming out of an ice age? Did they all forget about that?

Chris Riley
September 26, 2020 10:53 pm

Canada needs a carbon tax. This “tax” should be negative (AKA a subsidy). The temperature in Canada is much too low and all reasonable people know this. Canada should also a ban all fuel efficient cars or alternatively, require a minimum vehicle weight. The latter would reduce the high death rate on Canadian roads that coated are with ice for most of the year.

Keith Harrison
Reply to  Chris Riley
September 27, 2020 8:03 am

It is obvious you have never visited Canada.

We actually have SNIC (snow and ice control) measures and as someone who lives here I do not drive on ice most of the year. And when I do, I have snow and ice tires fitted to provide safety. Death rate is higher in none snow and ice months.

You can find ice somewhere in Canada at anytime of the year, but there a no roads in the areas you find ice in the summer; no problem.

Reply to  Keith Harrison
September 27, 2020 9:57 pm

I live in Canada too, but I’m with Chris Riley – why do you think so many people buy SUVs and big 4×4 trucks inspite of $1.20/litre gas (before covid)? About $0.80/PINT ala America. It is too cold here, and I live in its most southerly area.

September 26, 2020 10:56 pm

Round and round. They construct (e.g. political congruence “=”) pre-industrial “norms” to force coincidence with consensus. They are bitterly apologizing, protesting, and infilling with brown matter, violence, and discrimination, to establish anthropogenic forcings on regional and global scales. A normal range of 10, 20, 40 and more degrees, limited to a degree variability on average, where there is only one global forcing, and a chaotic system with processes that defy long-term projections, let alone predictions. This is what redistributive change looks like under an ostensibly “secular” Church with a faith, quasi-religion (“ethics”), and deviant (“liberal”) ideology in concert with the collusion of public and private enterprises (i.e. fascism) against the People.

Lee L
September 27, 2020 12:03 am

I guess the 350 million hectares of Canadian FOREST LAND isn’t a meaningful contribution according to REAL government climate zealots.
I mean that’s only 3.5 million square kilometres of trees for gawdsake.

Reply to  Lee L
September 27, 2020 1:15 am

In calculating Canadas national net GHG emissions, Canadas vast boreal forest is omitted from the equations.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Klem
September 27, 2020 2:04 am

Here would be the right place to argue from. How can climate alarmists or the UN claim that the science is settled, and then omit a huge boreal forest from their GHG emissions “calculations”. That’s about as unscientific as you can get! Is that what they mean by “climate justice?”

September 27, 2020 12:17 am

1 – The authors both teach law. They should both know that the gas price sticker thing is a red herring. The decision was more about freedom of expression than about environmental policy.

2 – The governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan propose to reduce their greenhouse gasses by developing Small Modular Reactors (SMR). Therefore they don’t feel they need a carbon tax. link

September 27, 2020 12:35 am

Speaking of carbon, I just saw an ad for a ” carbon negative ” beer. Brewdog Punk IPA. That started some gears whirring. Soon it will not be enough to be carbon ” neutral “. Oh no. That will not be nearly enough to appease the Climate Justice Warriors. To atone for our climate sins, we will we need to go beyond that. We will need to be carbon negative. Forever.

Reply to  Zane
September 27, 2020 1:45 am

It’s easy to get carbon negative just import everything you can’t at least get zero on from electricity to all goods …. all emissions are counted where produced. The trick is to be able to have enough economy left to pay for it 🙂

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  LdB
September 27, 2020 5:11 am

Right on- Massachusetts now claims to be the most energy efficient state- thanks to no longer having any industry (other than universities, hospitals and some high tech firms). Every town and city has dozens if not hundreds of empty factory buildings. Whenever I see this claim in the newspapers- I fire off emails to state politicians pointing out the stupidity of the claim- given that we now import virtually everything. Of course, they don’t respond.

Reply to  Zane
September 27, 2020 6:28 am

I just saw an ad for gluten free shampoo…

Reply to  griff
September 27, 2020 8:38 am

And Griff I bet you rushed out and bought some of that gluten free shampoo.

See, the companies that make these kinds of nonsense products are very good at marketing to known target audiences.

In this case, probably agw and renewable power disciples.

You know it’s true 😄

Hari Seldon
Reply to  Zane
September 27, 2020 7:04 am

Dear Zane,

Only for your information: The life on the Earth is carbon based. De-carbonization (to be “carbon neutral”) means also eventually the extermination of all kind of living creatures (including all humans) on the Earth. Not to mention, that only a few people would like to live under conditions in the pre-industrial era.

The “concept of deadly 2 degrees Celsius warming” is Mr. Schnellhuber’s “invention”. Mr. Schnellhuber has launched the “scientific” pretext of the climate- und CO2-histery in Germany and all over the world. His explanation was the following: If the temperature of a human will be increased by 2 degrees Celsius, then the life of this person could be seriously endangered. He transferred these 2 degrees Celsius to the increase of the global average temperature of the Earth.

Question Nr. 1: Does work the human body similarly to the Earth (to be able to use Mr. Schnellhuber’s analogy)?

Question Nr. 2: How “scientific” would be Mr. Schnellhuber’s “argumentation”?

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 27, 2020 1:11 am

When the British finally abolish the monarchy, it will be the Canadians who will kling on to the last five kings on the planet. The kings of clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades, and King Charles the Woke. Would serve them right.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 27, 2020 2:00 am

Like most old UK colonies they have the current British Monarch represented via the governor general (currently Julie Payette) who holds minimal specific reserve powers. There is no way to change that except adopt or radically change the constitution. Australia and new Zealand are identical.

Reply to  LdB
September 27, 2020 5:25 am

The reigning monarch appoints the Governor General and the Lieutenant Governors. The federal government names the candidate and the monarch rubber stamps it. All that is required is to remove the requirement for the rubber stamp. Everything else can remain the same.

Canada and Great Britain used to have some kind of special relationship. That pretty much ended when GB joined the European Union. The vast majority of Canadians were born after that.

… according to surveys, the population is generally unaware of the existence of a monarch as their head of state. Andrew Coyne commented on monarchism: “In most countries loyalty to the head of state—that is, to the existing constitutional order—is the first duty of citizens. Here [in Canada] it is a kind of rebellion, the obsession of a radical fringe group dismissively referred to as ‘monarchists’. link

When Elizabeth leaves the monarchy, there will be a vocal group of Canadians demanding we ditch the monarchy. It could happen. On the other hand, I would say that the vast majority of Canadians don’t actually care enough about the issue to force the government to do anything about it.

For those who think Canada should remain loyal to the crown, I have two words, ‘Prince Charles’.

BTW, Canadians may not take a British title. That’s why Conrad Black had to renounce his Canadian citizenship. Even though Canadians will put up with a monarchy, she has a long history of opposition to an aristocracy.

Lee L
Reply to  commieBob
September 27, 2020 6:41 am

I fear you are right about the vocal group wanting to ditch Chuck.
I am not one of them for I see value in the rubber stamp. I see it as one final little hurdle should some Justin like government decide to go too too far. The refusal of by the Queen ( or Chuck) to rubber stamp wont stop it but it will certainly draw attention.

Reply to  commieBob
September 27, 2020 7:54 am

Canadian constitution is the same as 15 other former UK colonies and it isn’t that easy as you still have Royal prerogative, reserve powers and all the swearing in to public office has to be done by the GG. I know the GG seems a largely ceremonial role and a rubber stamp but the role is embedded in the constitution, the moment you didn’t swear say a minister by the GG for example it can be challenged in the courts. When you try an unravel it all you quickly find you would have to write an entirely new constitution and that is why none of the 15 countries have ever changed it.

I know in your mind it’s easy but constitutionally it isn’t.

Reply to  LdB
September 27, 2020 9:25 am

I don’t think anyone is suggesting getting rid of the Governor General.

The only substantial change would be the way the GG is appointed. There would be other changes like the wording of the oath of loyalty that is sworn by civil servants.

Flight Level
September 27, 2020 2:05 am

Unless you stop exhaling CO2, your life will be declared harmful to planet earth and consequently legally terminated.

Ron Long
September 27, 2020 3:01 am

80% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the USA border, and they want what? 80% living within 50 miles of the USA border? By the way, nice picture of Bob and Doug Mckenzie, I wondered what they were up to.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Ron Long
September 27, 2020 6:27 am

I didn’t recognize those hosers without their toques on, eh?

David Blenkinsop
September 27, 2020 6:50 am

Ron Long: that’s actually the premiers of Ontario and Alberta, not Bob and Doug Mackenzie! You must be thinking of the recent SpaceX launch that took Bob and Doug for a visit to the International Space Station.

Seriously though, leftish law professors endorsing an encroachment on provincial rights, all in the name of obeying global alarmist bureaucrats is not very encouraging is it? It’s all to easy to read the writing on the wall, that Canada’s Supreme Court is likely to uphold the idea that the Feds should rule well, “supreme” on this or any similar matters in the future.

The odd thing is that technically any premier can opt out of any court judgement, under the (so far never used) “Notwithstanding Clause” in the Constitution. If this opt out clause starts to be actually used in a way that threatens the whole system, should I as a Westerner and a Canadian be sad or glad at this point?

David Lambe
September 27, 2020 6:59 am

Here is my Canadian perspective:

Our federal government fretting about the eensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy amounts of CO2 emitted by Canada is completely absurd !

CO2 is a minuscule component in the atmosphere. The earth’s atmosphere is composed of ~78% Nitrogen, ~21% Oxygen, ~0.9% Argon and a vanishingly small amount of trace gases. CO2 is one of those trace gases. The current concentration of atmospheric CO2 is about 400 parts per million. But wait … There’s more ! 97% of CO2 is produced by natural sources (think volcanoes, earthquakes, natural organic decomposition). Human activity accounts for only 3% of it, or an even tinier 12 parts per million.

Canada produces about 1.5% of that, or 0.18 parts per million — a ridiculously small amount. Adding +/- 12 parts per million for all human activity would have no effect upon the earth’s climate. None ! Zip !! Nada !!! The 0.18 ppm created by all Canadian human activity is not worth destroying our economy over. I am not arguing in favour of pollution, just asking people and our political leaders to be realistic.

It’s difficult to understand how small 12 parts per million and 0.18 per million are … so here is an analogy. Imagine using a 1-mile walk (which is 5,280 feet, or 63,380 inches) to represent our atmosphere and use your distance traveled to represent CO2:

* 12 PPM would be represented by about 3/4 of an inch

* 0.18 PPM would be represented by about 1/100th of an inch

So now you can understand how silly it is to worry about the tiny amount of CO2 produced by human activity.

Why aren’t we worrying about the heat being retained by water vapour ? Because that wouldn’t support the profound desire of liberals to shut down the world’s economy — that’s why !!

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  David Lambe
September 27, 2020 8:53 am

Yes, but, it’s a faddishly altruistic sounding reason to increase bureaucracy and raise taxes! What’s not to like!

Democracies everywhere seem particularly vulnerable to this sort of creeping tax grab. Since our elected representatives are mostly going to be replaced within a few years, do they really care if the economy, together with the entire tax base, may well tank completely later on?

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
September 27, 2020 8:39 pm


And that’s one of the reasons democracy is failing across the West. People with no skin in the game vote to elect politicians with no skin in the game who make insane, destructive decisions.

Kevin kilty
September 27, 2020 7:01 am

The act operates as a backstop — a national safety net — with two parts. The first imposes a charge on a broad range of greenhouse gas emitting fuels.

Ah! A safety net stretched tight two inches,… er five centimeters, above hard soil.

September 27, 2020 9:13 am

An example of extreme hypocrisy in Canada is something like British Colombia’s Clean Energy Act, where BC will not burn its own clean natural gas to generate electricity, but yet will create a LNG industry to export the vast natural gas resources to sell out of the province. Along with selling all the coal it can to China and the rest of world but because it isn’t burnt in BC, it doesn’t accrue to any carbon accounting domestically. And not charge a carbon tax on these exports while it hoses its own citizens.

Extreme hypocrisy in that they preach one thing to its residents and then do the exact opposite for exports of carbon extensive fuels. Not that I am personally opposed to having these industries making a profit, supplying jobs and paying taxes etc, or that the the CO2 actually matters to anything, but that BC can’t utilize its own resources in a cost efficient way for its own beneficial use. And then charges its own residents up to $50 a ton for a carbon tax that is just a pure tax grab that isn’t revenue neutral now for 3-4 years. Just goes into general revenue for the Gov’t of the day (NDP) to get itself reelected. That really burns me up…The Stupid, It Burns.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Earthling2
September 27, 2020 10:15 am

Yes, you pretty much nailed it

Here in canada the insane oppose that LNG industry because it will create X amount MT of CO2
Even though it would displace a magnitude greater CO2 release when it displaces coal burning for power gen

It’s all so stupid it makes it hurt to breath sometimes

September 27, 2020 9:19 am

Ahh–A “safety net” for weather, and/or climate. Whichever comes first.
Which concept is likely inspired by interventionist economists’ dreams about “safety nets” preventing hardships such as occur with recessions.
And in business and financial cycles, the bigger the boom the harsher the bust.
An appropriate line has been:
“When the big one comes all the safety nets will be about as useless as a hardhat in a crowbar storm.”
On the climate scam, public opinion will change to practical and the promoters will suffer the equivalent aof a crowbar storm.

September 27, 2020 9:19 am

Ahh–A “safety net” for weather, and/or climate. Whichever comes first.
Which concept is likely inspired by interventionist economists’ dreams about “safety nets” preventing hardships such as occur with recessions.
And in business and financial cycles, the bigger the boom the harsher the bust.
An appropriate line has been:
“When the big one comes all the safety nets will be about as useless as a hardhat in a crowbar storm.”
On the climate scam, public opinion will change to practical and the promoters will suffer the equivalent aof a crowbar storm.

Rick Kargaard
September 27, 2020 9:30 am

Impositions justified by assumptions unsupported by credible evidence. Seems like the ultimate idiocy. BTW Seattle and Vancouver could be a separate country and we could quit being embarrassed by them.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Rick Kargaard
September 27, 2020 10:19 am

When Canada breaks up, 95% of BC will join AB and sask in a new country, I suggest the name “Not as Stupid”.

The Bc lower mainland will have to be spun off to survive or not depending if we decide to keep supplying food, electricity, gas etc
Maybe they can merge with Seattle

Keith Harrison
September 27, 2020 9:41 am

Hard to imagine lawyers, professors or not, calling for no lawsuits, legal arguing before the supreme court or provincial appellate courts.

That’s the bread and butter of lawyers everywhere. What good are lawyers if they are not suing someone over something?

As to the supremes’ decision, I am sure they will side with the federal government for the carbon tax. This will be to my everlasting sorrow, but such is life.

And provinces have no choice but to sue hard and often. Who is politicizing the constitution? Certainly not the provinces who are in a true constitutional battle.

When the tax is confirmed, now at $20 per tonne CO2, the federal pricing could rise considerably by mid-decade to somewhere in the range of $250 to $300. (Although The reason for such a massive rise is the current rates proposed will not bring Canada into compliance with 2015 Paris Agreement commitments.

Even now the federal government has both knees firmly planted on the necks of coal, oil and gas and other mines under current legislation working to snuff out oil and gas the single largest contributor to our economy. Odd how a government works against job and wealth creation to satisfy a commitment for which China, India, and Russia have no regard. In fact they are more than pleased for Canada, US, Australia, UK and EU to take all the hits to their economies as this leaves more room for there expansions.

Gerald Machnee
September 27, 2020 12:38 pm

There was an article reprinted from:
Carl Meyer / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

in some newspapers including:

It discusses some of the arguments before the Supreme Court about legality. However, two points really stand out: One, is that there was never any serious discussion on whether “climate change” or “human caused climate change” was ever established beyond doubt: and the second point is that is apparent that the Supreme court judges really do not know much about the “science” of climate. Here is a really serious piece of misinformation. It may show that if you repeat misinformation often enough some people will consider it as fact:
***Justice Michael Moldaver, however, acknowledged that climate change was a systemic issue, such that if one province “decides to go rogue” then that has a potential impact on the whole of Canada.

“We are into a situation now where, everybody, as I understand it, agrees that climate change is a serious threat to life on Earth as we know it. Some call it an existential threat,” he said. ***

WHERE DID JUSTICE MICHAEL MOLDAVER GET THE POINT THAT “everybody agrees that climate change is a serious threat to life on Earth as we know it”.
How do we inform the judge about the facts?

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
September 28, 2020 2:44 am

You make a very good point Gerald. This judge should be informed ; but not only that, he should be advised that a consensus opinion is NOT a valid legal argument and should NOT be used as a basis for judgement.

Robert MacLellan
September 27, 2020 3:06 pm

I was sure that someone would have pointed out just how bad an example the City of Victoria regulating sewage is. Their sewage plant is still under construction meanwhile it flows largely untreated out into the strait of Juan de Fuca.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
September 27, 2020 6:42 pm

They have always had a sewage treatment plant

It’s call the Pacific Ocean

Hundreds of years, going on strong

Victoria is also one of those virtue signalling jurisdictions proclaiming climate emergency while simultaneously bragging how many tourists visit every year and how much $$ they are spending to attract more

So much stupid

September 27, 2020 3:20 pm

man that pic….47$ canadian for 11 US gallons/
iirc canada and us dollar run pretty closely so…damn.

September 27, 2020 4:58 pm

Trump tweets intent to issue permit for rail line connecting Alaska to Canada and Lower 48


Pat from kerbob
September 27, 2020 6:34 pm

Unfortunately and as I’ve been saying for years the average Ontario/Quebec voter isn’t going to clue in until they see their standard of living drop

As we are currently borrowing equivalent to yearly federal budget all that borrowed money will hide this crash for a while buts it’s coming.

From Trudeau this week;

“Our green transition will make canada more competitive”

People actually believe that here

So much stupid, so little time to mock it all

John Endicott
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
September 28, 2020 5:50 am

Unfortunately and as I’ve been saying for years the average Ontario/Quebec voter isn’t going to clue in until they see their standard of living drop

Even then, they might not realize the cause. Like the proverbial frog (and unlike actual frogs), they don’t seem to realize when it’s time to hop out of the boiling water.

Reply to  John Endicott
September 28, 2020 11:14 am

Speaking of proverbial frogs and Quebec is so fitting. Joke only…

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