In April 2018 the Government of Saskatchewan decided to challenge the Federal Government’s jurisdiction in regard to climate action measures, arguing its Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act reaches beyond federal powers.
In cooperation with several civil society organizations, the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) has submitted a joint application to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal seeking Intervenor status in order to support the Federal Government’s constitutional right to enact legislation to address climate change.
The Federal Government has legal authority to set minimum standards and laws to meet their international and constitutional obligations to citizens of Canada and worldwide regarding climate change. Canada has currently signed on to the Paris Agreement, agreeing to reduce our emissions by 30% below the 2005 baseline year by 2030. In aligning ourselves with the direction of the international community, Canada is strengthening the global collective effort to tackle climate change.
Just as coordinated action among countries is essential to tackle interconnected global challenges like climate change, coordinated action across Canada is also essential for such action to be effective. Through our role as a connector between our local and global communities, we understand the urgency of addressing climate change at all levels. We also recognize the pressing need for leadership in achieving Canada’s domestic targets set out through global commitments including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
This intervention is based on the position that, among other rationale: "The Federal Government is legally bound to protect the Charter rights of current and future generations of Canadians, in particular the Section 7 rights to “life, liberty, and security of the person”. Anthropogenic climate change threatens these rights by undermining Canadians’ food security, water security, and security of person as a result of the increased strength and frequency of climate change-induced superstorms, droughts, rising sea levels, forest fires and disease vectors, among other damaging effects. Anthropogenic climate change is therefore a national concern and a failure to act is a violation of Section 7 of the Charter."
We support the Federal Government in its position and urge the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to consider the significance of anthropogenic climate change as a national issue and recognize the importance of embarking on a path to price pollution with consistency throughout Canada.