BC Local Governments Support Government of Canada as Intervenors in Carbon Pricing Supreme Court Appeal

Yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada accepted the joint application of Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish, Nelson, Richmond, and Rossland as intervenors in the federal government’s carbon pricing case. The municipal intervenors are asking the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold the Federal Government’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. The case is currently scheduled to be heard before the court in Spring 2020.

The six B.C. local governments are joining together to support the national law on carbon pricing which will reduce carbon pollution. This is in line with the local governments’ declarations of a climate emergency and emission reduction targets that have been set in each community. The municipalities recognize the importance of urgent, collaborative action at all levels of government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

British Columbia saw net emissions fall by 4.7 per cent over eight years after implementing a carbon tax, while maintaining a healthy economy. The carbon tax is revenue neutral and is one of the most effective and fair ways that governments can address climate change. The B.C. carbon tax is regarded as an ideal model for other jurisdictions in and out of Canada.

The hearing of the appeals in the SCC is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2020.



“A national price on pollution is the single most effective way to take action against the climate crisis,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Cities are feeling the brunt of climate change and without a federal carbon pricing scheme it will fall to local governments to pick up the slack.”

“A carbon price helps people and businesses make cleaner choices in our communities,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “This means driving less and using active modes of transportation, opting for electric vehicles, and building more energy efficient homes.”

“Some people might ask how small municipalities can make a difference on this national issue,” said Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore. “This is an issue that impacts all Canadians, whether we live in large urban centres or small rural communities. We invite local governments across the country to pass motions supporting local government intervention in the Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case. We are stronger together.”

“Municipalities are at the forefront of climate change as we engage within our communities to prepare for and mitigate against growing and real issues such as flooding, forest fires, and sea level rise,” said District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “We are standing up for carbon pricing as a policy that sets a standard for action on climate change and that creates policy clarity. This clarity has the potential to stimulate opportunity for investment, innovative solutions and leadership at the local level as we work collaboratively with citizens, businesses and senior levels of government to limit GHG emissions.”

“The City of Richmond is a leader in implementing climate change measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Despite significant growth, we have already successfully slashed emissions by over 12 per cent since 2007 through strategies such as electric vehicles, policies for energy efficient developments and an award-winning district energy infrastructure. Maintaining a national approach to carbon pricing supports the work we and other municipalities are doing to build sustainable and environmentally friendly communities.”

“In 2007, Nelson City Council signed on to the B.C. Climate Action Charter,” said Nelson Mayor John Dooley, “and successive Councils have committed to the terms of the Climate Charter to reduce our carbon output. Nelson has met or exceeded the goals of the Climate Action Charter, and we will be continuing this critical work. We believe there needs to be a national commitment to the reduction of carbon to meet the goals of a cleaner, more sustainable Canada. Implementing a fair price on carbon across all of Canada will create a level playing field and local governments will benefit from the federal carbon pricing scheme.”

See backgrounder below for further details.



The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to the City of Vancouver, Victoria, Squamish, Nelson, Richmond, and Rossland, to jointly intervene in the SCC’s hearing of the Federal Carbon Pricing appeals.

The municipal intervenors are asking the Supreme Court of Canada to uphold the Federal Government’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

The joint application for leave to intervene in the Supreme Court of Canada proceeding was filed on November 6 pursuant to direction from Councils at the in-camera meetings in late October and early November.

The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada granting leave to intervene allows the coalition of B.C. local governments to file argument in the hearing of these appeals. The joint submissions made on behalf of the municipal intervenors will support the validity of the Federal Carbon Pricing legislation.

The municipal intervention will support the argument that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) imposes valid regulatory charges and that the GGPPA is a validly enacted law within federal jurisdiction under the peace, order and good government power.

The hearing of the appeals in the SCC is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2020.

December 5, 2019

Post your comment


  • Brenda Bjorkman Dec 15, 2019 5:06 PM (8 months ago)

    Where is this money going?
    How is it being used?
    Having any level of government collecting money and making claims that it will be used for a specific cause or purpose is a joke.
    ICBC is a fabulous example of that rip-off!!
    Having hugely populated countries like China, India, & USA doing little to nothing, other than cause & create more pollution. As well as Poland, who will continue to use coal as fuel for industry.
    So Canadians are supposed to pat themselves on the back because they pay their money into "a federal carbon pricing scheme"
    Definition of "scheme" : a secret or underhanded plan; a plot.
    Interesting choice of words!

    The daily actions that individuals and businesses take to reduce their damage to this community, province, country and planet will go further than blindly handing over or taking money!!!!!

  • Paul William Lancaster Dec 8, 2019 2:09 AM (8 months ago)

    Congratulations to all those taking place. Neighbourhoods & small businesses should be encouraged to reduce their carbon footprints. My incremental savings saved more than 100 tons over the last 12 years & its all documented. Does any one else want to join me.

  • Jim Harvey Dec 7, 2019 4:15 AM (8 months ago)

    I wholeheartedly endorse this action by our municipality. Carbon taxes have been universally recognized as a fair, effective and simple first step in addressing climate change.

  • Chris Joseph Dec 7, 2019 12:49 AM (8 months ago)

    Way to lead the way Squamish and other municipalities! The evidence has been consistent that carbon pricing is an effective tool to fight the climate crisis, and it makes me proud to live in a community pushing for this tool.

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