Today the Court of Appeal granted intervenor status to both individuals and organizations in the Ontario Reference case scheduled to be heard for April 15 – 18. The Province of Ontario has filed a reference case challenging the federal carbon pollution plan after cancelling Ontario’s emissions cap-and-trade system that complied with the applicable federal standard.
The federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change made the following statement:
“We welcome the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision to hear the vast diversity of voices – health professionals, youth, economists, Indigenous peoples, environmentalists and faith groups – that support taking climate action by ensuring it is no longer free to pollute. Carbon pollution has an impact on everyone – on our health, our jobs, and our homes. We will continue to work with all Canadians to protect the environment and grow the economy.
“Carbon pollution knows no borders. It is by working together to tackle climate change across the country that we can make a real difference. Putting a price on carbon pollution is a practical, affordable way to reduce emissions. It also ensures Canadians are better off. This year, an Ontario family of four will receive $307 through the Climate Action Incentive.”
The David Suzuki Foundation and Ecojustice also sought and were granted intervenor status in the Ontario Reference case as was Environmental Defence. Ecojustice filed the intervention on behalf of the David Suzuki Foundation. The basis of Ecojustice’s intervention is to uphold the federal law implemented to support a national carbon-pricing plan as part of Canada’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the negative environmental, physical and mental health effects arising by continued inaction on climate change.
The Environmental Defense represented by the Canadian Environmental Law Association is seeking that the Ontario Court consider the criminal law power and trade and commerce power as the sources of federal authority to pass a carbon pricing law.
The intervenors will argue that the federal government has clearly stated that provinces had the opportunity to pass their own carbon pricing laws failing which the federal government would step in as a backstop.
The Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defense was also granted intervenor status by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in the Province of Saskatchewan’s challenge of the federal government’s carbon pricing law.
Ontario’s reference case is scheduled to be heard by the Court of Appeal in April 2019.