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Climate change regulation: New tensions between federal and provincial legislators

Author(s): Elliot A. Smith, Evan Barz

Dec 18, 2018

Climate change regulation is once again making legal headlines this year as the Government of Canada enacted its federal carbon pricing plan and new tensions between the federal and provincial governments have emerged. Initially touted as having support from nearly all jurisdictions across Canada, a number of provinces have subsequently withdrawn from the federal plan, leaving the federal government without the strong cross-jurisdictional support it had hoped would buoy the regime’s success. In Ontario and Saskatchewan, provincial governments have filed references with their respective courts of appeal to challenge the constitutionality of the federal carbon pricing plan. In other jurisdictions — including Alberta and New Brunswick — governments have instituted carbon-pricing regimes which the federal government has indicated do not satisfy the requirements of the federal plan.

The result of this shifting landscape is uncertainty for businesses in Canada. Businesses with operations in different Canadian provinces will be well-advised to continue to monitor this shifting regulatory landscape...


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