Greenhouse Gas Reference – Supreme Court finds that the federal greenhouse gas (GHG) charges are valid under the POGG power and are not taxes

The majority of the Supreme Court found that the fuel charge and excess emissions charges imposed under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, Part 5 (the “GGPPA”) 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. It also noted in passing that the levies were not disguised taxation given that the “GGPPA as a whole is directed to establishing minimum national standards of GHG price stringency to reduce GHG emissions, not to the generation of revenue.”

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2021 SCC 11 under Constitution Act, 1867, s. 91.