A 4-1 decision in the Court of Appeal of Alberta has found the Trudeau government Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act unconstitutional.
The decision made Monday found the act to be unconstitutional due to it posing intrusion on provincial jurisdiction. The appeal court decision rejects Ottawa’s arguments over there being a national crisis over greenhouse emissions.
The Alberta Court of Appeal is the first province of any’s superior court to rule against the legislation, as the decision is likely seen as a victory of the Jason Kenney-led United Conservative Party, who have led a strong campaign against the proposed tax.
In a tweet posted shortly after the decision was made, premier Kenney said that it was his government’s plan to take action, without punishing Albertans.
“We promised to take meaningful action on climate change without punishing Alberta families for driving to work and heating their homes,” said Kenney.
Judges in the majority of the decision include Chief Justice Catherine Fraser, and Justices Jack Watson, Elizabeth Hughes and Thomas Wakeling. Justice Kevin Feehan was the sole vote.
Appeal courts in both Saskatchewan and Ontario upheld the law in split decisions.
Kenney addressed media after the announcement, saying: “This is a great victory for Alberta, and a great victory for Canadian federalism. We will take this decision with us as we stand for our allies in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Quebec at the Supreme Court of Canada next month,” said Kenney.
“The appeal court referred to the effort to impose this punishing tax on families who fill up their gas tanks and heat up their homes… They referred to it as a ‘constitutional trojan horse.’ The trojan horse ended today.”
“The question is not whether or not the world will continue to need energy, the question is where will the energy come from? and the question for us as Canadians is very simple: Will that energy come from this rights-respecting, liberal democracy with the highest environment human rights and labour standards on earth, or will we surrender the global energy markets to the worlds worst regimes, with little transparency and radically lower environmental standards with little or no respect for human rights. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because it’s true, that the world needs more Canadian energy.”
Kenney went on to announce that his government would be moving forward with tabling “Bill 1 of the next session of Alberta’s legislature,” the Critical Infrastructure Defense Act, which Kenney says will ensure stiff penalties for those who attempt to impair critical economic infrastructure throughout Alberta.
Recent trouble in Wild Rose Country
The province has been the centre of ongoing controversy as of late, as just yesterday, The British Columbia-based Teck Frontier decided to pull out from a proposed $20 billion oil sands mine.
“Teck put forward a socially and environmentally responsible project that was industry-leading and had the potential to create significant economic benefits for Canadians,” said CEO Don Lindsay in a letter released late Sunday night.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney reacted by saying “The withdrawal of Teck’s Frontier Mine application is more devastating news for the Canadian economy, especially for Albertans & indigenous people. This decision is clearly the result of federal regulatory uncertainty & the current lawless opposition to resource development.”
Former Director of Policy to Prime Minister Stephen Harper Rachel Curran pulled also had choice words for the decision.
“There’s no way Teck would be making this decision now unless they’d been given a heads up that a negative decision was coming from the Trudeau government.
I wonder if @realDonaldTrump will let us apply to the U.S. as economic refugees,” the tweet concluded.