Saskatchewan Scores Legal Victory in Battle Against Federal Carbon Tax

Saskatchewan Government Secures Court Injunction Against Federal Carbon Tax Collection: Relief for Residents Amidst Constitutional Dispute

In a recent development, the Saskatchewan government has successfully obtained a court injunction to prevent the Canada Revenue Agency from collecting the federal carbon tax within the province. This news brought relief to Saskatchewan residents who have been burdened by tax obligations in recent years.

The announcement of this court ruling was made by Bronwyn Eyre, the Saskatchewan provincial justice minister and attorney general. Eyre stated that the court had ruled in favor of Saskatchewan, blocking the federal government from garnishing money unconstitutionally from the province’s bank account. This decision was based on the argument that such actions violated Section 126 of Canada’s constitution. The matter is now set for a full court hearing to determine the continuation of the injunction.

Dustin Duncan, the minister of Saskatchewan’s Crown Corporations, expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision, emphasizing that the application for the injunction had been successful. He highlighted that the federal government had been blocked from unconstitutionally garnishing money from Saskatchewan, and the injunction would remain in effect pending a full hearing. Duncan expressed confidence in their position and hoped for a successful outcome in the upcoming court proceedings.

In response to the court ruling, Minister of National Revenue Marie-Claude Bibeau reiterated the Canada Revenue Agency’s commitment to collecting taxes in accordance with the law. Bibeau emphasized the agency’s dedication to upholding the law and treating all taxpayers fairly. Despite the Supreme Court of Canada’s approval of the carbon tax, Saskatchewan’s legal challenge resulted in the province successfully halting the federal carbon tax collection within its borders.

Following this legal victory, the provincial government announced the successful court injunction to prevent the Canada Revenue Agency from collecting the federal carbon tax in Saskatchewan. The province had previously faced increased energy costs in 2023, with residents and businesses experiencing higher power and energy bills, as well as increased gasoline prices. The federal government’s approval of Saskatchewan’s output-based performance standards for industrial emitters provided some relief from federal carbon taxes, saving the industry billions by 2030.

The federal carbon tax had been on the rise, reaching $65 per tonne with plans to increase to $170 per tonne by 2030. In April 2023, the federal fuel charge raised gasoline costs in Saskatchewan, adding to the financial burden on residents. SaskPower’s efforts to comply with federal regulations while keeping rates low had been challenging, with the additional carbon tax revenue requirements impacting consumers.

The conflict escalated when Premier Scott Moe opposed the federal government’s decision to exempt home heating oil from the carbon tax in Atlantic Canada. Moe demanded a similar exemption for natural gas in Saskatchewan, but Ottawa refused. The province’s stance against the federal decision led to threats of fines and charges against Saskatchewan officials. Despite the ongoing legal and financial challenges, Saskatchewan residents continued to receive carbon rebate checks.

In a positive turn of events, Saskatchewan families began enjoying relief from the carbon tax in 2024. Starting January 1, 2024, SaskEnergy and SaskPower removed the federal carbon tax from home heating, benefiting nearly 98% of families who were previously excluded from the federal exemption on heating oil. This decision was welcomed by Crown Investments Corporation Minister Dustin Duncan, who highlighted the importance of fairness in providing relief to families.

The removal of the carbon tax from SaskEnergy bills saved the average family around $400 in 2024, with electric heat users seeing a 60% reduction in the carbon tax rate on their bills. This reduction translated to an average monthly saving of $21 for approximately 30,000 customers. The billing adjustments effectively eliminated the federal carbon tax charge for usage from January 1, 2024, onward, marking a significant win for Saskatchewan in the fight against the carbon tax.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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