TORONTO — Ecojustice lawyer Amir Attaran issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement that Ontario will be moving forward with a constitutional challenge of federal carbon tax legislation:
“The Ontario government is already having a kick at this particular can in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. From a legal perspective, bringing a second reference case in the same vein is a pointless duplication of efforts, and ironically, a waste of $30 million by a government that claims to be motivated by saving taxpayers money.
“If Ontario had a strong legal case — which they don’t — then they would not need two kicks at the same can, in two courts, in two provinces. The fact that they need the mulligan goes to show that they expect to lose.
“The law is clear: Protecting the environment is a shared federal and provincial responsibility. Provinces across Canada should be required to work towards implementing a fair system that holds polluters to account for putting communities and the climate in jeopardy by increasing greenhouse gas pollution in our atmosphere.
“Climate change is real, it is happening now, and it is caused by human activity. We need to look no further than the extreme heat wave that engulfed eastern provinces this summer as a close to home example of the impacts that will become the norm if governments like the Ford government refuse to regulate the pollution that is unbalancing the climate.”