The Pan-Canadian Carbon Tax: A Constitutional Perspective

Aspectos Constitucionales Controvertidos De La Tributación Ambiental/Controversial Constitutional Aspects of Environmental Taxation, Rodolfo Boix, ed. (2018)

39 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2018 Last revised: 7 Feb 2018

See all articles by Allison Christians

Allison Christians

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Stephanie Hewson

West Coast Environmental Law

Olivier Jarda

Hutchins Legal

Date Written: January 10, 2018

Abstract

The use of tax policy to address environmental destruction is entering a new phase in Canadian history with the adoption of a Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which features a federal carbon tax regime. This Framework is designed as a backstop to existing sub-national regimes, effectively according primary taxing rights to the provinces and territories and residual rights to the federal government. This design creates a floor for carbon taxation across the country. An important question is whether disagreement is likely to arise among the jurisdictions themselves or by those subject to the regimes. If so, Canada’s constitution will come into play as the arbiter of jurisdictional authority and conflict. This chapter accordingly analyzes the Pan-Canadian Framework against the variable landscape of environmental taxes in Canada to date, and considers the possibility for either harmonization or discord going forward.

Keywords: taxation, environment, carbon tax, Canada, constitution, federalism, regulation, jurisdiction, Pan-Canadian Framework, climate change

JEL Classification: D78, E62, G18, H11, H25, H71, H73, K34, L71, Q20, Q28, Q38, Q48

Suggested Citation

Christians, Allison and Hewson, Stephanie and Jarda, Olivier, The Pan-Canadian Carbon Tax: A Constitutional Perspective (January 10, 2018). Aspectos Constitucionales Controvertidos De La Tributación Ambiental/Controversial Constitutional Aspects of Environmental Taxation, Rodolfo Boix, ed. (2018), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3099588

Allison Christians (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Rue Peel
Montréal, Quebec
Canada

Stephanie Hewson

West Coast Environmental Law ( email )

200-2006 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 2B3
Canada

Olivier Jarda

Hutchins Legal ( email )

424 Saint-Francois-Xavier Street
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 259
Canada

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