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In split decision, Supreme Court says the federal carbon price is constitutional

shawn5o

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Mia Rabson

Published Thursday, March 25, 2021 4:27AM EDTLast Updated Thursday, March 25, 2021 10:25AM EDT

OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says the federal carbon price is entirely constitutional.

The split decision upholds a pivotal part of the Liberal climate-change plan, accounting for at least one-third of the emissions Canada aims to cut over the next decade.

Chief Justice Richard Wagner says in the written ruling that climate change is a real danger and evidence shows a price on pollution is a critical element in addressing it.

More at link above


Question - Where does the carbon tax go? Is there a climate change revenue or does it end up in General Revenue?

I suspect the latter
 

ModlrMike

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Of course it will end up in General Revenue. The point people are missing here is that regardless of pledges to "tax polluters", there's only one source of tax revenue, and that's the individual. This is a pure trickle down tax where average Joe and Jane are going to feel the pinch.
 

Altair

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Mia Rabson

Published Thursday, March 25, 2021 4:27AM EDTLast Updated Thursday, March 25, 2021 10:25AM EDT

OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says the federal carbon price is entirely constitutional.

The split decision upholds a pivotal part of the Liberal climate-change plan, accounting for at least one-third of the emissions Canada aims to cut over the next decade.

Chief Justice Richard Wagner says in the written ruling that climate change is a real danger and evidence shows a price on pollution is a critical element in addressing it.

More at link above


Question - Where does the carbon tax go? Is there a climate change revenue or does it end up in General Revenue?

I suspect the latter
90 percent of it is being rebated back to consumers at tax time.
 

Altair

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Of course it will end up in General Revenue. The point people are missing here is that regardless of pledges to "tax polluters", there's only one source of tax revenue, and that's the individual. This is a pure trickle down tax where average Joe and Jane are going to feel the pinch.
It's being rebated back to consumers at tax time in the provinces where it is in effect.
 

Brad Sallows

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It is supposed to be revenue-neutral (the aforementioned rebates). I'm skeptical that will work out very well, or last for very long.
 

daftandbarmy

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Why take it if it's just going to be given back? That seems like unnecessary work.

Because: Politics

accessory niccole thurman GIF by The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper
 

LittleBlackDevil

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90 percent of it is being rebated back to consumers at tax time.

According to a couple online calculators I've used, they consistently say that I'll be getting $900 rebated back for my family of 7.

There's no way that our cost of living and the carbon taxes I've paid went up by a mere $1000 since the tax was implemented when you look at how much the cost of food and fuel alone have gone up since the tax was implemented. Now, granted, not 100% of that increase was due to carbon tax, but certainly more than $1000 of the total increase I've experienced was due to Carbon Tax.

If they truly think that crushing people under a massive tax burden will safe the environment then just admit it instead of pretending they're giving this money back. I understand that in some peoples' view I am a horrible evil destroyer of the planet for having 5 children and if in their ideology that means I deserve to pay an extra tax penalty then I can at least respect the consistency and honesty.
 

daftandbarmy

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According to a couple online calculators I've used, they consistently say that I'll be getting $900 rebated back for my family of 7.

There's no way that our cost of living and the carbon taxes I've paid went up by a mere $1000 since the tax was implemented when you look at how much the cost of food and fuel alone have gone up since the tax was implemented. Now, granted, not 100% of that increase was due to carbon tax, but certainly more than $1000 of the total increase I've experienced was due to Carbon Tax.

If they truly think that crushing people under a massive tax burden will safe the environment then just admit it instead of pretending they're giving this money back. I understand that in some peoples' view I am a horrible evil destroyer of the planet for having 5 children and if in their ideology that means I deserve to pay an extra tax penalty then I can at least respect the consistency and honesty.

You do know what party is in power right now, don't you? :)

200.gif
 

shawn5o

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90 percent of it is being rebated back to consumers at tax time.

It depends on your province. But the point you miss (IMO) is the rising cost of everything else because of the tax. Food has gone up, transportation has gone up, probably more examples.
 

shawn5o

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According to a couple online calculators I've used, they consistently say that I'll be getting $900 rebated back for my family of 7.

There's no way that our cost of living and the carbon taxes I've paid went up by a mere $1000 since the tax was implemented when you look at how much the cost of food and fuel alone have gone up since the tax was implemented. Now, granted, not 100% of that increase was due to carbon tax, but certainly more than $1000 of the total increase I've experienced was due to Carbon Tax.

If they truly think that crushing people under a massive tax burden will safe the environment then just admit it instead of pretending they're giving this money back. I understand that in some peoples' view I am a horrible evil destroyer of the planet for having 5 children and if in their ideology that means I deserve to pay an extra tax penalty then I can at least respect the consistency and honesty.

Well said LBD
 

Altair

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Why take it if it's just going to be given back? That seems like unnecessary work.
Because higher prices still shape behavior.

If it costs more, you will not get as much (in cases where you don't have a choice) as the price will be foremost on your mind, not your yearly rebate at tax time.
 

Altair

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According to a couple online calculators I've used, they consistently say that I'll be getting $900 rebated back for my family of 7.

There's no way that our cost of living and the carbon taxes I've paid went up by a mere $1000 since the tax was implemented when you look at how much the cost of food and fuel alone have gone up since the tax was implemented. Now, granted, not 100% of that increase was due to carbon tax, but certainly more than $1000 of the total increase I've experienced was due to Carbon Tax.

If they truly think that crushing people under a massive tax burden will safe the environment then just admit it instead of pretending they're giving this money back. I understand that in some peoples' view I am a horrible evil destroyer of the planet for having 5 children and if in their ideology that means I deserve to pay an extra tax penalty then I can at least respect the consistency and honesty.
You need to separate what went up due to the carbon tax and what when up because things got more expensive. At 20 dollars per ton in ontario, it cost me 4.4 cents more a litre. I get about 60 litres every 2 weeks, so 2.64 cents more for 60 litres, and 68 dollars a year. My wife has a smaller vehicle, and gets by with about 45 litres every 2 weeks. 51 dollars a year. toss in what we pay for heating, maybe another 100 over the course of a year. so 219 more. I got 300 back.

I know the prices because the ford government put the price change on the pump.
 

LittleBlackDevil

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You need to separate what went up due to the carbon tax and what when up because things got more expensive. At 20 dollars per ton in ontario, it cost me 4.4 cents more a litre. I get about 60 litres every 2 weeks, so 2.64 cents more for 60 litres, and 68 dollars a year. My wife has a smaller vehicle, and gets by with about 45 litres every 2 weeks. 51 dollars a year. toss in what we pay for heating, maybe another 100 over the course of a year. so 219 more. I got 300 back.

I know the prices because the ford government put the price change on the pump.

I did indicate that I accept that the Carbon Tax is not the only reason my cost of living has gone up, however, you cannot exclude the carbon tax from the reason why "things got more expensive". No way are the grocery stores, shipping companies, etc. just absorbing the cost. It's being passed 100% along to the consumer, therefore, I have paid carbon tax on a lot more than just the fuel for my car and heat for my house.

As for altering behaviour, I can understand that when it is levied on luxury items or things that are not necessary. But people can't stop eating or going to work so they cannot avoid that carbon tax. I think a valid concern is that the poorest people in Canadian society are disproportionately impacted by these sorts of taxes because they are the ones who have the least money spent on non essentials so they are paying taxes on things they cannot avoid.
 

Altair

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I did indicate that I accept that the Carbon Tax is not the only reason my cost of living has gone up, however, you cannot exclude the carbon tax from the reason why "things got more expensive". No way are the grocery stores, shipping companies, etc. just absorbing the cost. It's being passed 100% along to the consumer, therefore, I have paid carbon tax on a lot more than just the fuel for my car and heat for my house.

As for altering behaviour, I can understand that when it is levied on luxury items or things that are not necessary. But people can't stop eating or going to work so they cannot avoid that carbon tax. I think a valid concern is that the poorest people in Canadian society are disproportionately impacted by these sorts of taxes because they are the ones who have the least money spent on non essentials so they are paying taxes on things they cannot avoid.
I don't know what the average cost of things due to the carbon tax would have been.

another 100 dollars for me maybe? 150? I have no idea. either way, I know for me it would still likely fall within the 90 percent back, at least for me.

this would be a moot point if the province of Ontario would implement their own plan. Nobody is talking about the carbon tax in quebec because quebec has their own plan. One that doesn't include rebates.
 

Eaglelord17

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Poor decision by the Supreme Court. The 1867 Constitution is clear as to what is a provincial power and what isn't. If they want that changed they should have to open up the Constitution to allow for it, not have the courts create laws. I also question the legality of having our chief justice acting as Governor General and how they can even pretend to be impartial with that all on the go.
 

Altair

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Poor decision by the Supreme Court. The 1867 Constitution is clear as to what is a provincial power and what isn't. If they want that changed they should have to open up the Constitution to allow for it, not have the courts create laws. I also question the legality of having our chief justice acting as Governor General and how they can even pretend to be impartial with that all on the go.
"peace, order and good government" means they can step in when provinces are not doing it themselves.

I mean, its hard to have a national plan on climate when not everyone is playing ball.
 

Eaglelord17

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"peace, order and good government" means they can step in when provinces are not doing it themselves.

I mean, its hard to have a national plan on climate when not everyone is playing ball.
Huh we have survived for over 150 years without this being a issue and now all of a sudden its top priority?

And just because you don't agree with what a Province is doing doesn't mean they aren't playing ball. Last I checked all these provinces have environmental controls in place. They have decided as to what is reasonable to them. Adding a random tax does nothing to help the environment, especially when it results in the closing of Canadian businesses and the importation of products made with no or next to no environmental controls from countries such as China, India, etc. (which has no carbon tax applied to them).

The Provinces have met the requirement for good government, just because the Federal Government isn't satisifed with that doesn't mean they have failed in their responsibilities, if anything they have done exactly what they are supposed to as they don't answer to the Federal Government on this matter.

What about if all of a sudden the Federal Government decides to have a National Education Plan even though it is clearly a Provincial responsibility? What if its for 'Peace, Order, and Good Government'?

I don't think this is a national issue as written in our Constitution. Change the Constitution if that is what you believe but I don't buy into these catch all phrases. Our Constitution exists to ensure one side doesn't have the power to bully the others. It clearly defines who has what powers. Yet for the last 50 years or so the Federal government has been encroaching more and more into Provincial matters. Just because all the wedge issues people tend to care about are Provincial responsibilities doesn't mean the Federal government can usurp their powers. Two judges understand what their jobs are, enforce the laws and Constitution as written. The others not so much.
 

brihard

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Poor decision by the Supreme Court. The 1867 Constitution is clear as to what is a provincial power and what isn't. If they want that changed they should have to open up the Constitution to allow for it, not have the courts create laws. I also question the legality of having our chief justice acting as Governor General and how they can even pretend to be impartial with that all on the go.

That's... No. You just aren't in accordance with the actual constitution on this. No new law was made here. The Supreme Court ruled on a matter clearly falling within one of the existing sources of constitutional authority, that of Peace, Order and Good Government. This is certainly not the first time that a matter has not been found to fall within one of the enumerated heads of power in sections 91 and 92 that divide power explicitly between the provinces and the federal level, and where it has been addressed as a national concern. It's not even the first time that has been this case where federal environmental laws were argued to potentially infringe upon provincial constitutional authority. R v. Crown Zellerbach in 1988 dealt with exactly that.

I don't think this is a national issue as written in our Constitution. Change the Constitution if that is what you believe but I don't buy into these catch all phrases. Our Constitution exists to ensure one side doesn't have the power to bully the others. It clearly defines who has what powers. Yet for the last 50 years or so the Federal government has been encroaching more and more into Provincial matters. Just because all the wedge issues people tend to care about are Provincial responsibilities doesn't mean the Federal government can usurp their powers. Two judges understand what their jobs are, enforce the laws and Constitution as written. The others not so much.

Sections 91 and 92 are not and cannot be exhaustive lists of every possible thing that could ever potentially have to be tackled by a level of government. The absence of something being explicitly listed in either of those sections does not mean government is powerless to act. On the contrary, S. 91 starts with the establishment of authority for Parliament to legislate for the Peace, Order and Good Government of Canada.

The claim that 'for the past 50 years or so the Federal government has been encroaching more and more into Provincial matters' doesn't hold up. Under our constitution, residual power goes to the federal level, and in fact the history of Constitutional jurisprudence in Canada shows a surprising deference by the courts to the provinces over the feds. Despite that, some matters are clearly of a national interest, and cannot be adequately handled solely by the provinces. Environmental laws that affect things like the air and the inland waterways (again, see Crown Zellerbach are just such an example. It's constitutionally appropriate for the federal legislature to legislate on such things.

Not liking the outcome politically does not make it a legally unsound decision.

Finally,

I also question the legality of having our chief justice acting as Governor General and how they can even pretend to be impartial with that all on the go.
Question it all you want, but the facts are not on your side. The succession for the Governor General, specifically the Chief Justice stepping up, was established in the 1947 Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada. These were issued under royal prerogative and form part of the body of Canadian constitutional documents - that is not just limited to the 1867 and 1982 Constitution Acts. There's no reason to believe that the Chief Justice is incapable of being impartial in his interpretation of a constitutional reference on a piece of legislation simply because he happens to presently have a caretaker role as the acting viceregal.
 

Altair

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That's... No. You just aren't in accordance with the actual constitution on this. No new law was made here. The Supreme Court ruled on a matter clearly falling within one of the existing sources of constitutional authority, that of Peace, Order and Good Government. This is certainly not the first time that a matter has not been found to fall within one of the enumerated heads of power in sections 91 and 92 that divide power explicitly between the provinces and the federal level, and where it has been addressed as a national concern. It's not even the first time that has been this case where federal environmental laws were argued to potentially infringe upon provincial constitutional authority. R v. Crown Zellerbach in 1988 dealt with exactly that.



Sections 91 and 92 are not and cannot be exhaustive lists of every possible thing that could ever potentially have to be tackled by a level of government. The absence of something being explicitly listed in either of those sections does not mean government is powerless to act. On the contrary, S. 91 starts with the establishment of authority for Parliament to legislate for the Peace, Order and Good Government of Canada.

The claim that 'for the past 50 years or so the Federal government has been encroaching more and more into Provincial matters' doesn't hold up. Under our constitution, residual power goes to the federal level, and in fact the history of Constitutional jurisprudence in Canada shows a surprising deference by the courts to the provinces over the feds. Despite that, some matters are clearly of a national interest, and cannot be adequately handled solely by the provinces. Environmental laws that affect things like the air and the inland waterways (again, see Crown Zellerbach are just such an example. It's constitutionally appropriate for the federal legislature to legislate on such things.

Not liking the outcome politically does not make it a legally unsound decision.

Finally,


Question it all you want, but the facts are not on your side. The succession for the Governor General, specifically the Chief Justice stepping up, was established in the 1947 Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor General of Canada. These were issued under royal prerogative and form part of the body of Canadian constitutional documents - that is not just limited to the 1867 and 1982 Constitution Acts. There's no reason to believe that the Chief Justice is incapable of being impartial in his interpretation of a constitutional reference on a piece of legislation simply because he happens to presently have a caretaker role as the acting viceregal.
Thank you, I was going to start responding you covered it very nicely.
 
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