Ottawa opposing Saskatchewan’s move to have top court delay carbon tax case

REGINA — Ottawa is pushing back against Saskatchewan’s request to have the Supreme Court of Canada delay hearing its challenge of the federal carbon tax.

The press secretary for federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna says the federal government has submitted arguments as to why the case should be heard in a timely manner, including that it creates certainty for businesses and families.

“Premier (Scott) Moe’s request to delay the Supreme Court of Canada’s hearing of this case is another irresponsible example of Conservative politicians fighting climate action on the taxpayers’ dime,” Sabrina Kim said in a statement Friday.

“Canadians deserve better than Conservative politicians playing politics with their kids’ future.”

Saskatchewan recently applied to have the top court push back its December hearing in order to better co-ordinate its challenge with ones from other provinces.

The province expects a delay could mean the hearing takes places in the spring of 2020, well after the federal election this October. Conservative Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer has said he would scrap the carbon tax if his party forms government.

Saskatchewan appealed to the highest court after its Appeal Court ruled in a split decision in May that the tax is constitutional.

Ontario has also signalled it will appeal after losing its case against the federally-imposed carbon tax in June.

This week, Saskatchewan hosted a meeting with justice ministers and their legal teams from Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick to discuss ways to strategize their legal arguments against the tax. 

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