It is refreshing to see the Supreme Court of Canada stand up for provincial rights as guaranteed in our constitution for once. You can read the decision for yourself here.
What is really disappointing is how poorly the legislation had to be written to rule it as unconstitutional. Had the legislation been worded just slightly better, then it is likely the Supreme Court would have upheld it like it did with the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (federal carbon ‘levy’).
To put in as simple terms as possible, the ‘No More Pipelines’ Act was ruled unconstitutional because its core decision making process considers concepts within and outside of federal jurisdiction with no guidance on how to weigh the factors. That means a project may be rejected and none of the reasons for rejecting it fall within federal jurisdiction. It was also found that the term “adverse effects on federal jurisdiction” was too broad and encompassed conduct that would clearly fall outside federal jurisdiction. It is noteworthy that the two Ontario Supreme Court Justices both concluded the act is constitutional. Thankfully the other 5 justices disagreed.
It is also worth noting that the court gave no indication that the federal ability to mitigate climate change is impermissible as ultra vires of Parliament. We already know that from the ruling on GGPPA. The Supreme Court would allow the federal government to continue to trample all over provincial rights in the name of environmental protection. All while ignoring the millions of imports from the largest polluter on Earth. If only hypocrisy was ultra vires of Parliament.
This ruling proves why Maverick is needed.
We cannot count on the Supreme Court to defend western rights. Even when we are right, we still lose. Trudeau will take the Impact Assessment Act back to Parliament and retool it to be compliant with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Next up is farmers under attempts to regulate nitrogen emissions. Read about it here.
The sole way to prevent this is to control the Parliamentary agenda. There is no incentive for the Conservative Party to stand up for farmers since the voters around Toronto and Montreal are not farmers. Dare we say the voters go beyond not caring about farmers but rather actively distrusting them? Source.
A Maverick caucus holding a Conservative or Liberal government in power can demand legislation harmful to farmers and western economies be repealed in exchange for our votes on their bills like the budget or throne speech.
It’s not impossible. It has happened before. All it takes is one domino to fall to cause a chain reaction.
Tim is currently studying law at the University of Saskatchewan. He sits on the Maverick Board of Directors representing Saskatchewan.