With major legislative changes come lots of debate and deliberation, as well as more time spent learning legalese, something that law firms like Donich Law are familiar with.
The latest big topic is the federal carbon tax, which is the cornerstone of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s anti-greenhouse gas emission plans, with the Supreme Court working on whether or not the legislation can be enforced on any province that has opposed it.
A lot of legal experts in Canada, including law firms like Donich Law, expect that the Liberal Government’s 2018 Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act will be recognized by the Supreme Court as constitutional, and will be implemented. Ottawa has stated that their plan is to ramp up the price of any carbon to C$170 (US$135.08) for every ton by 2030, up from its current price, which is C$30 for every ton.
Carbon pricing, which is often marked as a ‘carbon tax’ by its opposition, is the key part of Canada’s plan to ultimately reach net-zero emissions by their target year of 2050. However, it has met serious opposition from 3 provinces: Ontario, Saskatchewan, as well as Alberta, Canada’s main fossil fuel-producing province.
As part of the Carbon Pricing Act, Ottawa can impose federal levies on any province that do not have their own carbon pricing system and legislation. The Canadian Supreme Court will deliberate on whether or not that is a valid use of the federal government’s powers, or whether or not it’s an overreach that’s infringing on the jurisdiction of the provincial government.
Andrew Bernstein, from Toronto’s Torys Law Firm, says that a lot of people watching the Supreme Court are pretty much expecting the carbon pricing act to go through. The case is being watched closely by legal practitioners, due to the fact that it’s a good study of how the federal government can exert its authority.
Saskatchewan Law Professor Dwight Newman states that Quebec intervened on the side of the provinces, supporting carbon pricing, due to the fact that they perceive the problem regarding the precedent it would set up at the federal level.
Canada is the 4th in the world when it comes to oil production, while also being the 5th largest carbon emitter, as per a capita basis.