Queen’s Park takes the feds to court today over the carbon tax

Calls the tax unconstitutional

The provincial and federal governments square off this week in the Ontario Court of Appeal over the Fed’s carbon tax.

The Ford Government will try to convince the court the tax is unconstitutional. the Trudeau Government, as it did in Saskatchewan two months ago, is expected to argue it’s a regulatory charge, not a tax. As such, it said it has jurisdiction because greenhouse gas emissions are a matter of national concern.

Ontario does not deny climate change needs to be addressed, just not through a levy. It has a plan of its own – the Ontario Carbon Trust – committing $400 million over four years, to work with the private sector on developing clean technologies to reduce emissions. It also includes a $50 million “reverse auction,” allowing businesses to send in proposals for emission-reduction projects and bid on government contracts that would be awarded based on the lowest-cost reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation will appear on behalf of Ontario at this week’s hearing; the Assembly of First Nations will back Canada. A dozen others will make submissions as well.

Four days have been set aside for the hearing.