Loading articles...

Supreme Court to rule Thursday on whether carbon tax is constitutional

Last Updated Mar 24, 2021 at 3:08 pm MDT

The Supreme Court of Canada is seen, Thursday January 16, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — It’s make-it-or-break-it time for the federal government’s national price on pollution.

The Supreme Court of Canada will decide Thursday whether Ottawa’s “carbon tax” is constitutional or if the federal Liberals overstepped into provincial jurisdiction.

It is a legal decision that has political implications for a federal Liberal government whose climate plan rests heavily on being able to price carbon.

READ MORE: O’Toole to face Conservative grassroots after laying out elements of election plan

It will also be a key ruling for conservative premiers and the Opposition Conservatives in Ottawa, who have fought hard against a consumer carbon tax for years.

The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, passed in 2018, sets a minimum price on carbon emissions and imposes a federal pricing system in provinces that don’t meet that price with a system of their own.

Appeals courts in Ontario and Saskatchewan upheld the law as a matter of national concern in 2019, while the Alberta Court of Appeal struck it down a year later for interfering with a province’s constitutional right to develop its natural resources.