The UCP of Alberta, environmental groups to intervene in the case of the Saskatchewan carbon tax



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The United Conservative Party of Alberta will be allowed to intervene in a nearby court case involving the Saskatchewan and Ottawa provinces over the national carbon tax.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled that all 16 candidates will be allowed to intervene in the case to be heard in mid-February.

These include the David Suzuki Foundation, the First Nations Assembly, as well as the provincial attorneys general of Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia.

In April, Saskatchewan asked the court to decide whether the federal government's plan to implement a carbon tax in the province is constitutional.

"Whatever the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, we can say that everyone who wanted to be heard was heard," Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan said.

"Everyone has the feeling that you have to do something about emissions, you have to do something about carbon, but a carbon tax that I do not think is the right solution," said Don Morgan. Minister of Justice of Saskatchewan. (CBC Matt Garand)

"I think it's an indication that across Canada, people are asking questions about it," he said. "The federal government has the right to tax but not to tax differently across Canada."

He hopes the case, along with a similar challenge in Ontario, will eventually be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Morgan and the Saskatchewan Party government argue that their "Prairie Resilience" emissions reduction strategy is as effective as the federal carbon pricing scheme.

"We are feeling very strong about the position we have," Morgan said. "I do not think that the position put forward by any of these entities can defy the argument."

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in Regina set aside two days in February to hear the arguments of all 16 interveners. Those include:

  • Attorney General of Ontario.
  • Saskatchewan Agricultural Producers Association.
  • Canadian Association of Environmental Law and Environmental Defense Canada Inc.
  • Attorney General of New Brunswick.
  • Saskatchewan Power Corporation and SaskEnergy Incorporated.
  • Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
  • Canadian Federation of Taxpayers.
  • United Conservative Association (Alberta).
  • Canadian Public Health Association.
  • Assembly of First Nations.
  • Climate Justice Saskatoon.
  • Attorney General of British Columbia.
  • Intergenerational climatic co-ordination.
  • David Suzuki Foundation.
  • Ecofiscal Commission of Canada.
  • International Emissions Trading Association.

The federal government opposed a request from the UCP to be an intervener on the Saskatchewan side.

UCP leader Jason Kenney, a former federal minister, tweeted that he was satisfied with the decision and that he would be preparing to fight for Albertans.

A written judgment has indicated that all submissions from the parties should be limited to legal issues surrounding the tax.

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