“A little over a year ago, Alberta intervened with the Federal Court to argue that the federal government’s decision to unilaterally label plastic as a ‘toxic substance’ is an unconstitutional intrusion into provincial jurisdiction and a threat to our economy.
“Today, the Federal Court sided with Alberta and Saskatchewan and found that listing plastics as a toxic substance is ‘both unreasonable and unconstitutional.’
“The court also found that the federal government’s decision to label all plastics as toxic ‘poses a threat to the balance of federalism as it does not restrict regulation to only those (plastics) that truly have the potential to cause harm to the environment.’
“The court also reminded the federal government that ‘cooperative federalism recognizes that the provincial government and federal government are coordinate – the provinces are not subordinate to the federal government. A federal head of power cannot be given a scope that would eviscerate a provincial legislative competence.’
“This latest decision comes on the heels of the Supreme Court of Canada decision confirming the unconstitutionality of the federal government’s destructive Impact Assessment Act, formerly known as Bill C-69, and demonstrates a continued pattern of federal overreach intended to subvert the constitutionally protected role and rights of provinces using the criminal head of power.
“Like Bill C-69, the federal government’s decision to unilaterally label perfectly safe plastic consumer products as ‘toxic’ has had wide-ranging consequences for Alberta’s economic interests and has put thousands of jobs and billions of investments at risk.
“Alberta is proudly home to Canada’s largest petrochemical sector, a sector with more than $18 billion in recently announced projects that were needlessly put in jeopardy by a virtue-signalling federal government with no respect for the division of powers outlined in the Canadian Constitution.
“It’s time for the federal government to listen to the courts and to Canadians. We urge them to not appeal this decision, and to immediately delete ‘plastic manufactured items’ from Schedule 1 of the current Canadian Environmental Protection Act so as to avoid further need of legal action by Alberta and other provinces.”
- Federal Court Decisions: Responsible Plastic Use Coalition v. Canada (Environment and Climate Change)
- Supreme Court of Canada ruling: Joint statement (Oct 13, 2023)