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
Date Written: January 10, 2018
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: Suggested Citation