Press Release: SES will join in the defense of the carbon tax before the Supreme Court of Canada

March 2, 2020
Saskatchewan Environmental Society
For immediate release


The Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) is joining many other organizations in arguing that the Government of Canada’s carbon tax is constitutional and should be upheld. The case will be heard later this month at the Supreme Court of Canada.

“The argument being put forward on behalf of Premier Moe and Premier Kenney’s governments that climate change policy should be left to the provinces is extremely concerning,” said Peter Prebble, a member of the SES Board of Directors. “If left unchallenged, it is certain to result in Canada failing to meet its greenhouse gas reduction obligations under the Paris Accord.  We would simply end up with a patchwork of climate change policies across the country.”

Canada has made a commitment to the international community that our country will reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. In comparison, the Saskatchewan government’s climate change plan is far less ambitious, making it clear that Saskatchewan cannot be left to set climate change policy alone.

“Climate change poses an urgent threat to the future of humanity and to our quality of life on Earth,” Mr. Prebble said. “In our view the Government of Canada is compelled to act, as are all national governments around the world. Putting a price on the pollutants that cause climate change is one essential element of any global effort to effectively tackle the problem. It is a tool by which to protect the right of present and future generations to a secure future.”

The events of the past few months further confirm the need for national government action to combat climate change, not just in Canada, but globally. For instance, Australia has faced unprecedented bushfires driven by record high temperatures and record drought; the temperature on Antarctica exceeded 20 degrees Celsius for the first time; while more than 300 billion tonnes of ice melted on Greenland in 2019, accelerating sea level rise worldwide.

Here in Canada we are now being forced to spend record amounts on natural disaster relief, while at an international level the increased frequency of severe weather events has led business leaders at the World Economic Forum to rank climate change as their top global risk.

The Saskatchewan Environmental Society has concluded that the task of reducing the pollutants that are causing these problems cannot simply be left to provincial governments. A national carbon priceis a necessary tool. We hope the Supreme Court will confirm the right of the Government of Canada to implement a price on carbon, and that in future years it will not only be applied in Canada, but will become common practice around the globe.