WIN: Saskatchewan court gives 👍 to carbon price

When Saskatchewan and Ontario went to court to fight a national carbon price, we formed a coalition and hired lawyers to push back. Our work shows pricing pollution can go hand in hand with affordability, and Canada has — we argue — a constitutional obligation to take emergency-level action to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees.

Anything less amounts to discrimination against younger Canadians and future generations. 

On May 3, Saskatchewan's court delivered our first big victory! The ruling:

  • Affirms the federal government's authority to ensure a minimum national price on carbon pollution

  • Cements the urgency of tackling climate change, by stating:

“Climate change has emerged as a major threat, not just to Canada, but to the planet itself” 

Even the judges who wrote a dissenting opinion — on the question of constitutionality — recognized that the reality of human-caused climate change and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas pollution were not at issue; they were facts, “proven and true.”

Read more about the ruling in our media release and in this blog from West Coast Environmental Law. Wondering how a national carbon price jives with our broader work to ease the financial squeeze on young people? Read this

Special Thanks 

  • To the 48 Gen Squeeze supporters and monthly Members who gave more than $5,000 to help cover our legal costs!

  • To our partners in the Intergenerational Climate Coalition: Saskatchewan Public Health Association, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Youth Climate Lab, Public Health Association of BC, and the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children 

  • To the EDRF Legal Aid Fund for anchoring this work with core financial support

  • To the staff at West Coast Environmental Law for their advice and encouragement 

  • To our amazing lawyers Nathan Hume and Emma Hume at Ratcliff & Company for providing discounted and pro bono work and for leading the charge! You can watch Nathan make the case to Ontario's Court of Appeal here (13 minutes — starting at 2:45:45)


Our lawyer Nathan Hume making the case in Ontario's Court of Appeal, whose decision is pending. 

Next Steps 

We jumped into these court cases not just to defend the constitutional authority of the federal government to tackle climate change with things like a carbon price, but to take it further by arguing we have a constitutional obligation to act with sufficient urgency and policy to limit global warming to recognized thresholds such as 1.5 degrees. 

And that a failure to do so amounts to clear-cut discrimination against younger generations. 

You can read our four-step argument here

Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal didn't stretch their thinking that far, but there's the possibility that Ontario's Court of Appeal might, and if not them, perhaps the Supreme Court of Canada, where these reference cases are likely to end up.

Stay tuned! 

See more wins

We’ve been on a roll lately. Learn about our recent campaign successes:


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