Gas prices spotted at a Maple Ridge gas station on Wednesday April 25. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

EDITORIAL: Carbon tax divides us

Provincial governments are taking federal government to court over controversial tax

The federal government’s carbon tax, a tax hated by many, is becoming a polarizing issue in Canada.

On Friday, May 3, Saskatchewan’s Court of Appeal ruled that the tax is constitutional.

Saskatchewan’s provincial government, under Premier Scott Moe, had argued that the federal government was acting outside of its jurisdiction to impose the tax.

While the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision, stated in a 155-page document, should settle the matter, this issue is far from over.

The justices did not agree and the result was a 3-2 split, not a unanimous decision.

Moe plans to continue Saskatchewan’s opposition and will appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Other provincial leaders have also taken issue with the federal carbon tax, including Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who has stated the carbon plan will result in an economic downturn.

Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan are either challenging the carbon tax or have stated they intend to do so. Alberta’s government has also expressed its displeasure with the tax.

With the recent gas price hikes we have seen here in B.C., the carbon tax is infuriating many drivers.

We in British Columbia already have the highest gas prices in Canada and many need a vehicle either to get to and from work or for the demands of their jobs.

Because of this reality, anything adding to the cost of fuel will not go over well.

Those who support the tax, including federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, have argued that a carbon tax is a necessary and effective strategy in fighting climate change.

Others have also said that the tax is needed to change behaviour and to move us away from our dependence on fossil fuels.

Whether this tax is a good idea or a bad idea, there is a huge problem when half the provincial governments in Canada are expressing their opposition and when public support of this tax is low.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

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