Ontario’s court challenge against federal carbon tax gets underway today

TORONTO — Ontario’s battle against Ottawa’s carbon tax gets underway in the province’s top court today.

The province’s Progressive Conservative government has denounced the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act as an illegal tax grab that will drive up the price of gasoline and heating fuel.

The federal Liberal government, on the other hand, insists it’s responding appropriately to an issue of national concern — climate change.

The climate change law applies in provinces that have no carbon-pricing regimes of their own that meet national standards, and Ottawa says the legislation aims to “fill in the gaps” where provincial measures aren’t up to snuff.

But Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who is supported by like-minded counterparts in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, argues that Ottawa is intruding on provincial jurisdiction, among other things.

The proceedings in Ontario’s Court of Appeal are to last four days, and will be available to livestream.

A variety of interveners will be heard from, including provinces such as Saskatchewan and British Columbia, Alberta Conservatives, Indigenous organizations who point out they are acutely vulnerable to global warming, as well as business and environmental groups.

The Canadian Press

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