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)

Nelson and Rossland accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, and Richmond also 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

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Rossland Skating Club invites the community to Year End Show

Rossland Skating Club competed in the East Kootenay Invitational Skating Competition last week

Court loss won’t affect Rossland plastic bag ban: mayor

Mayor says community is compliant, with enforceable law or not

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Grand Forks emergency shelter to be managed by Boundary Family Services

The organization got Grand Forks city council’s approval on Jan. 15

Women take centre stage at NHL all-star skills competition

Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a spirited 3-on-3 game between female players Friday night

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Most Read