WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government says it will not intervene in Saskatchewan’s court challenge of the federal government’s carbon tax.
A statement released Thursday evening by a spokesman for Premier Brian Pallister says the province continues to consider options for its own legal challenge.
Ottawa has asked all provinces to put a minimum price on emissions of $20 per tonne by Jan. 1, with a federal carbon tax implemented in provinces that don’t follow suit and the revenue rebated to residents.
A plan launched by Pallister last year would have met that requirement, but it fell short of Ottawa’s escalating carbon levy in 2020.
The premier withdrew his plan early last month, saying Ottawa hadn’t adequately considered Manitoba’s hydroelectric glut in insisting on eventually raising the levy.
Manitoba sought an independent legal opinion last year, which found Ottawa had a right to impose a tax on provinces but had to accommodate provincial initiatives that use different means to achieve the same objectives.
Ottawa plans to impose a carbon tax in April on Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
On Thursday, New Brunswick served notice it will follow Ontario in intervening in support of Saskatchewan’s suit. On Tuesday, British Columbia opted to support the federal plan.
Ontario recently penned its own carbon plan but it’s unclear whether Ottawa will consider it, as it had set a Sept. 1 deadline to submit such proposals.
Friday marks the deadline for provinces to weigh in on the challenge, some four months after the Saskatchewan government asked its appeal court to rule on whether the federal plan is constitutional.