Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act – Ontario Court of Appeal finds that the federal greenhouse gas (GHG) charges are valid under the POGG power
Strathy, CJO found that the fuel charge and excess emissions charges imposed under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, Part 5 of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 are constitutionally valid on the basis of coming within the national concern branch of the federal peace, order and good government (POGG) power. After noting that “there is today a greater appreciation that environmental pollution can transcend national and international boundaries and it is no longer thought of as a purely local concern,” he stated:
Confining Canada’s jurisdiction to the establishment of minimum national standards to reduce GHG emissions does not result in a massive transfer of broad swaths of provincial jurisdiction to Canada, as Ontario claims.
Although it was unnecessary to address any other bases for finding the charges to be intra vires, he briefly noted (at para. 148);
I agree with Ontario that, given its pith and substance, the Act does not fall under the federal taxation power enumerated in s. 91(3). As noted, the Act falls under the national concern branch of the POGG power.
Neal Armstrong. Summary of Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2019 ONCA 544 under Constitution Act, 1867, s. 91.