April 18, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario
Today, as the Court of Appeal for Ontario concluded its hearing on the constitutionality of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna issued the following statement:
“We must act now to fight climate change and protect the environment for future generations. Greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change are a matter of national concern and cannot be contained within provincial boundaries. Putting a price on carbon pollution is recognized as one of the most effective tools to reduce these emissions.
“Practical solutions can also make life affordable while we work together to fight climate change. This year, an eligible Ontario family of four will receive a climate action incentive payment of $307 after they file their taxes.
“We thank the Court of Appeal for Ontario for hearing the vast diversity of voices-health professionals, young people, economists, Indigenous Peoples, environmental groups, faith groups-that support taking climate action by ensuring it is no longer free to pollute. Throughout the hearing, supportive parties reinforced the reality that climate change is a national and global crisis, and that Canada-including all provinces and territories-must continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work to build a clean-energy economy.”
- The cumulative dimensions of greenhouse gas emissions are a matter of national concern. The Government of Canada’s legal position is that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is constitutional, and Parliament has the authority to implement the Act for the peace, order, and good governance of Canada, under section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867.
- Environment and Climate Change Canada has calculated that by 2022, pricing pollution in Canada will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from carbon by 50 to 60 million tonnes.
- As climate change continues to accelerate, communities across Canada face increased costs and risks. Insurance costs nationwide have risen from $400 million a year to $1.9 billion in the last 20 years.
- In 2016, Canada launched a national climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, to fight climate change and reduce national emissions. Putting a price on carbon pollution is a pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework, to which the Government of Ontario is a signatory.