The Canadian Public Health Association applauds the ruling of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal supporting the constitutionality of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act
The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) applauds the ruling from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal supporting the constitutionality of the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. This decision affirms the right and the responsibility of the federal government to set national standards for carbon pricing in Canada.
“We are pleased with the Court’s ruling affirming the role of the federal government in protecting the health of Canadians,” says Richard Musto, Chair of CPHA’s Board of Directors. “All levels of government need to act in a coordinated fashion to prevent negative health outcomes from carbon pollution.”
“Our collective response to climate change can also be ‘the greatest health opportunity of this century’ as many of the policies needed to fight climate change, such as carbon pollution pricing, will also produce health co-benefits, such as reduced health care costs, and improve social cohesion and equity in our communities,” said Ian Culbert, CPHA’s executive director.
“Climate change is a critical public health issue that threatens to undermine the past century of gains for population health in Canada and around the world,” adds Culbert. “The resulting health outcomes in Canada include respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, the spread of vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease and the Zika virus, physical and psychological trauma and death.”
This decision ensures carbon pollution will be priced throughout the country and will help Canada to fulfil its commitment under the Paris Accord, a global agreement aimed at keeping a global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
A recent report from the leading medical journal The Lancet identified carbon pricing as an essential part of the prescription to address climate change and protect human health.
Saskatchewan’s reference case was heard by the province’s Court of Appeal in February 2019. CPHA was one of nine intervenors that supported the federal government's authority to enact the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Ontario also launched a distinct reference case challenging the federal carbon pollution pricing plan, after cancelling its signature program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CPHA is an intervenor in the Ontario Case. Jennifer L. King and Michael Finley, lawyers from Gowling WLG’s Environmental Law Group, represent CPHA in both the Saskatchewan and Ontario intervention.