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)

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)

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland 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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Grand Forks’ Roly Russell met with The Gazette after he was named Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development Thursday, Nov. 26. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
NDP’s Roly Russell named secretary for rural development

Russell formerly represented rural Grand Forks on the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s elected board

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

Princeton council hopes fresh storefronts will compliment the investment already made in the downtown gateways and bronze statue park. (John Moody photo)
New program promises money for Princeton businesses to improve their storefronts

The municipality plans to commit $100,000 over the next five years

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Summerland residents have been receiving a telephone scam with the number showing as the telephone number of the local RCMP detachment. (Black Press Media files)
Summerland RCMP telephone number spoofed in scam calls

Number used in scam attempts from tax agency

(Village of Lumby photo)
Mysterious, loud ‘boom’ shakes North Okanagan residents

Village staff, Earthquakes Canada aren’t sure what caused the explosion-like sound

Clarence Fulton students collect cash and non-perishable food donations for families in need in their community Friday, Nov. 27. (Jennifer Smith  - Morning Star)
North Okanagan students collect food for families in need

Annual event to support nine school families this year

Take a break from the slopes to discover the rich culture and diversity of Vernon. Michelle Beaudry photo, courtesy Tourism Vernon.
Tourism Vernon could see 40% cut to budget due to COVID-19

New approach to help residents and visitors activate their adventures

Follow public health recommendations, says Interior Health as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Revelstoke. (Image courtesy CDC)
Revelstoke positive COVID cases grows to 29

Interior Health announced a cluster in the community on Nov. 26

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penticton law courts
Osoyoos child sex offender in court

Shawn Titus, 37, is charged with possession of child porn

Most Read