Media Releases

Saskatchewan court validates federal authority to put a price on pollution

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the Saskatchewan court of appeal’s decision supporting the constitutionality of Ottawa’s federal carbon price.

“With Canada warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, trying to score political points by grandstanding against sound climate policy is not only reckless, it’s deeply dangerous. Today’s verdict in Saskatchewan sends a clear message to Canadians and their political leaders: let’s stop fighting each other and start fighting climate change.

“The last five years were the five hottest on record. As we speak, citizens are grappling with the emotional and economic toll of losing their homes to flooding. More Canadians are seeing firsthand just how important it is that we fight climate change—and most believe that our governments must lead on this.

“It’s why today, as I write this, kids across Canada are  going on strike to demand that adults—the people who have the power to vote for change—do more to protect their future by accelerating and increasing efforts to cut carbon pollution.

“The evidence from B.C. illustrates how effective a carbon tax can be. Independent analysis found that pollution was lower than it would be otherwise, people drove less, invested in more fuel-efficient cars and used less natural gas at home. And the carbon tax had no significant impact on B.C.’s economic activities and, believe it or not, was even responsible for a net increase in jobs. As a lifelong resident of B.C., I can attest to the fact that the sky most definitely did not fall—it’s only gotten brighter.

“We need to use all the tools we have in the toolbox, including putting a price on pollution. It’s clear that it works and that the federal government has the constitutional authority to do it. So let’s stop wasting time and money misleading Canadians.”

KEY FACTS

  • For more information on the Youth Strike for Climate Change in Canada, see here.
  • The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s review of the federal carbon pricing system concluded that because of the Climate Action Incentive rebate, “ a typical household will receive higher transfers than the average amounts it pays in fuel charges” and “The net benefits are broadly progressive by income group. That is, lower income households will receive larger net transfers than higher income households.”
  • Last year was another record-breaking year for damages caused by severe weather events. Ice storms, floods, windstorms and tornadoes did damage to homes, vehicles and commercial properties across the country. They cost Canadians $1.9 billion in insured losses.