Today, Canada’s Supreme Court in a split decision 6-3 , ruled that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is constitutional.

Some top line findings: 

  • The Supreme Court affirmed that the federal government has the constitutional authority as part of its Peace Order and Good Government power to enact a national minimum standard to ensure the country’s GHG emissions are reduced.
  • The Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada made the rare decision on Thursday that the decision is of sufficient national concern that the government can use the POGG clause — a decision that six judges were entirely in favour of, with one partial dissent and two entirely in disagreement with the majority.
  • Further, it recognized that “climate change is real… and it poses a grave threat to humanity’s future” and recognized that matters are of national concern when there are grave extraprovincial consequences. 
  • The SCC noted that the impacts of climate change will be borne disproportionately by vulnerable communities and regions in Canada, which justify the limited constitutional impact on provincial jurisdiction. 
Six provinces were opponents of the federal carbon price law!