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

Police seize nearly 50 kilos of drugs in Surrey

Police say this has taken perhaps millions of deadly doses of fentanyl and other drugs off the streets

ICBC had 32,412 Dial-a-Claim calls from Lower Mainland

This was in a 17-day stretch from Jan. 3 to Jan. 19, inclusive

Surrey Mounties looking for two suspects in stolen credit card scam

Police said the cards were used in $28,000 in fraudulent transactions in Surrey, Burnaby and Coquitlam

Surrey’s Fruiticana, 25 years in, is growing strong

From a humble start to nurturing an 18-store business, Surrey’s Tony Singh looks to open two more this year

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Convicted Fraser Valley con man facing 39 charges in Vancouver area

Donald Quinnell got four years prison in 2015, again facing fraud, theft, stolen credit card charges

Elderly man in serious condition after being hit by bus in Burnaby

RCMP believe man, 82, was not at a crosswalk at the time

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey teen recalls ‘scary experience’ of falling down Oregon mountain

Gurbaz Singh broke his leg during a 150-metre fall on Dec. 30

Man accused in Kamloops murder claims woman died during rough sex

A Fraser Valley man stands trial for first-degree murder in connection with the 2016 death of a woman

Most Read