Alberta appeals court rules federal carbon tax unconstitutional; Kenney calls it 'a great victory'
EDMONTON -- In a 4 to 1 decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal became the first to declare the federal carbon tax unconstitutional.
The main reasoning behind the decision is that the carbon tax is an overstep by the federal government.
In the 269-page decision, Justices Catherine Fraser, Jack Watson and Elizabeth Hughes said, in part: "The division of powers remains key to our federal state. It is part of the fabric of Canada itself. The federal and provincial governments are co-equals, each level of government being supreme within its sphere. The federal government is not the parent; and the provincial governments are not its children."
They go on to call the act "a constitutional Trojan horse," as it would set a precedent, allowing the federal government to impose almost any law it wished on Canadians.
Premier Jason Kenney said the carbon tax is now illegal and called the decision "a great victory for Alberta."
"We disagree with Ottawa that a one-size-fits-all consumer tax that punishes families for heating their homes or driving to work is the best way to reduce emissions. We categorically reject that," Kenney said. "We agree with the need to reduce emissions across our economy and our energy sector, but we must be allowed to do it our own way. We will not tolerate Ottawa deciding the future of Alberta's economy."
Last year, courts in Ontario and Saskatchewan ruled the carbon tax does obey the constitution.
The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case in March.
Albertans have been paying the federal carbon tax since Jan. 1, but Kenney expects that should end immediately.
"We expect the government of Canada to comply with the order of the court today, and to remove the federal carbon tax on Albertans."