The Federal Carbon Tax: the Government of Ontario's Wild Goose Chase

Canada Goose Parading in Front of Toronto, Ontario, Headquarters of Chinese Telecom Giant Huaweii
In speaking to the Ford government's point that the federal carbon tax that came into effect on April 1, Josh Bead-man Hunter stated: "They could regulate where you live.  How often you drive your car.  It would unbalance the federation".  In addition to demonstrating a mild degree of ignoration on the matter, this dim-witted statement by someone in whom the general public would otherwise expect to have a more piercing and discerning viewpoint demonstrates the extent to which the federal carbon tax (and perhaps climate change more generally) is misunderstood.  The fact of the mater is that the federal carbon tax will not regulate where we live; it will not regulate how often we drive our car; and it will not cause an "imbalance" in our federation.

Framing the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act as a debate about which of provincial or federal legislature has competency over climate change is, at best, a wild-goose chase that misgenders the issue.  Just as the global debate on climate change and the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is so obviously a matter requiring a joint effort by all nations (and perhaps more particularly China and the U.S.), the debate on climate change in Canada is one that requires a balanced and concerted effort by federal, provincial, and municipal levels governments, sic. in pith and substance, climate change more likely than not falls under the federal government's power to regulate trade and commerce (Constitutional Act, s. 91 (2)) and under the provincial government's power to regulate property and civil rights (Constitutional Act, s. 91(2)). 

As eloquently stated by federal lawyer Sharlene Telles-Langdon, global-warming pollution "respects no provincial boundaries". Provinces simply can't head off potentially catastrophic global warming on its own, i.e. the federal carbon tax respects provincial jurisdiction.  A more likely successful argument on the part of the province would be to argue that the federal Act that imposes the carbon tax is overly expansive so as to go beyond the powers conferred upon the federal government under the Constitutional Act

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