Federal carbon tax ruled unconstitutional

Premier Jason Kenney reacts to the Alberta Court of Appeal ruling on the carbon tax.

“Today is a great victory for Alberta and for Canadian federalism. We promised Albertans we would fight for them, and today we succeeded.

“We will not tolerate Ottawa determining the future of Alberta’s economy. This consumer carbon tax is now illegal, therefore we expect the Government of Canada to comply with the order of the court today, remove the federal carbon tax on Albertans and immediately refund any and all tax collected to date.

“The provinces are best situated to make policy decisions for their own citizens. The 'Ottawa-knows-best' attitude of the federal government disrupts the constitutional balance of our federation and undermines our right to manage our own affairs.

“In their decision, the Court of Appeal called the effort to impose this punishing tax on families filling up their gas tanks and heating their homes a ‘constitutional Trojan horse.’

“Furthermore, paragraph 349 of the decision notes ‘if the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is a valid law, the constitutional foundation for provincial governments is badly damaged and their future as an important level of government is in jeopardy. Federalism, as we have known it for over 150 years, is over.’

“Alberta argued that the Constitution does not permit the federal government to put a provincial minimum price on carbon, and, by imposing a one-size-fits-all carbon tax, Ottawa ignored constitutional provincial authority to legislate in ways that reflect local conditions and circumstances.

“We are defending our province’s interests. Albertans expect us to promote jobs and champion our economy. This is what we are doing by fighting the federal carbon tax, which punishes people for heating their homes and driving to work but does nothing to reduce emissions.

“In March, Alberta will continue to advance its position in the Supreme Court of Canada in the Saskatchewan and Ontario appeals of those provinces’ rulings on this issue.”