Saskatchewan coalition intervening in carbon pricing case to fight for climate action

Thursday, January 3, 2019 - 16:48

REGINA, TREATY 4 TERRITORY  –  Ten social and environmental justice organizations are set to intervene in Saskatchewan’s case against the federal carbon pricing plan, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA), filing their final materials to the court record this week. The coalition, represented by the Kowalchuk Law Office, will be arguing for the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to uphold the federal government’s carbon pricing plan as constitutional. They are one of 13 intervenors who have been accepted by the Court.

The participating organizations are Climate Justice Saskatoon, the National Farmers’ Union, the Saskatchewan Coalition for Sustainable Development, the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation, the SaskEV (Saskatoon Electric Vehicle), the Council of Canadians Prairies-NWT Regional Office, the Council of Canadians Regina Chapter, the Council of Canadians Saskatoon Chapter, the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, and the Youth of the Earth.

The groups’ intervention argues that inadequate climate action is a violation of Canadian Charter rights and international law, and that the federal government has clear responsibility and jurisdiction to act.

“As this year's IPCC report showed, emissions need to be rapidly reduced in the next 12 years if we are to seriously address the climate crisis and meet our obligations under the 2015 Paris agreement,” said Kathleen Aikens, an organizer with Climate Justice Saskatoon, “the Saskatchewan government's plan falls far short of its fair share, and far short of what is needed. The federal government is not only within its rights but has a duty to fill this void, and has begun to do so with its backstop plan to price carbon.”

The organizations’ legal representative Larry Kowalchuk added, “This collective effort on behalf of groups representing thousands of people in Saskatchewan and across Canada is about giving voice before the courts and the world to people who care about their quality of life, that of children and future generations, and that of the people here and around the world most impacted by climate change.”

In their intervention, attached to this release, the groups state that the Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly affirmed environmental protection as a matter of shared federal and provincial jurisdiction. The case is expected to be heard in February 2019.