Premier Brad Wall says if the federal government forces the provincial government's hand on a carbon tax, he will see them in court.
This comes after Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced today (Thursday) the Trudeau government will be implementing legislation next year for a carbon tax on the provinces which haven't already created their own. Premier Wall calls the federal government white paper a "ransom note" and adds that in his mind, the right time for a carbon tax certainly isn't now, when the local economy is still reeling. His worry is an economic one, with a tax that would penalize sectors that are most exposed right now, including agricultural, mining, and oil and gas. Wall says more research will be done into the federal technical document, before any possible injunction is launched.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the environment falls under federal jurisdication so it is within the federal government's rights to impose a carbon tax on any province to protect the environment.
Like the provincial government, The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is also against the idea of adding provincial levies where provincial governments adopt carbon-pricing programs that do not meet minimum federal standards. CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick says this shows the Trudeau government has abandoned all pretense of the tax being revenue neutral. He also says it contradicts Saskatchewan Liberal, and cabinet minister, Ralph Goodale's assertion that all revenue would stay in the hands of the provinial governments.
The federal Environment Minister is preparing for a legal battle with Saskatchewan which opposes the carbon pricing plan. In Saskatchewan, SaskPower relies heavily on coal to generate electricity. Wudrick says carbon taxes mean higher taxes for Canadians and their families and harm to the Canadian economy.