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Carbon Tax: Courts hear from taxpayers, environmentalists, indigenous groups

Lawyers for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Doug Ford are not the only ones arguing about a federal carbon tax in Toronto this week.

On Day 3 Ontario's legal challenge, a five-judge panel will hear from environmental, tribal and taxpayers, as Ford's government continues its legal fight against tax.

CBC Toronto is a live-streaming lawsuit as lawyers make a presentation at the Ontario Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

The essence of the constitutional challenge is whether the federal government has the right to impose a carbon tax on provinces. Ontario advocates say that the price of pollution is unfair to taxpayers, while those who agree with the federal government say that pollution is a national concern.

Canadian Taxpayer Federation

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation (CTF) supports the province in its fight against the introduction of a federal carbon tax because it is in favor of lower taxes.

"There is a tax problem and the way it has been implemented," said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick.

"Governments are very creative about how they want to do things." [taxes] tastier. "

Ford spoke about pan-Canadian politics during the question period at Queen's Park on Wednesday, saying that Alberta's premier Jason Kenney's big night win will strengthen Ontario's fight against carbon tax.

"We are building an anti-carbon tax alliance that this country has never seen," Ford said, pointing out that there will soon be five premieres across the country to oppose Ottawa's framework.

CTF has long fought the tax.

Athabasca Chipewyan First nation

Athabasca Chipewyan The first nation in Alberta says that its way of life will be adversely affected by climate change.

The First Nation Attorney says a carbon tax is the best solution a Canadians have to fight.

Attorney Amir Attaran, who represents Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, says climate change will disrupt their way of life. (CBC)

He said temperatures would rise seven degrees to the end of the century.

"You will destroy the ecology, destroy the life of the indigenous people and destroy them as culture," said Ottawa lawyer Amir Attaran.

"For them, climate change is a threat to life."

Several indigenous groups are also intervening, including the assembly of the first nations.

Canadian Public Health Association

To the Canadian Public Health Association, climate change is a public health problem that only the federal government can address through pollution pricing.

"Greenhouse gases do not respect provincial or national boundaries," CEO Ian Culbert said.

The federal government says the carbon tax is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This photo shows steel mills on the Hamilton waterfront. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

He said there can often be a "patchwork quilt" approach to protect Canadians' health.

"It's one of the most serious global threats to public health in the 21st century."

Environmental Protection

Environmental Protection Program Director, Keith Brooks, says the government's plan for the environment in Ontario "is not strict enough to combat climate change".

It's not ambitious enough.– Keith Brooks, Environmental Defense

As the court heard on Thursday, Ontario has already cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 22% over 2005 levels, largely due to the decommissioning of all coal production. This happened under the previous government.

The PC plan includes a $ 400 million fund over four years to help companies develop clean technologies.

"There's no math behind the plan," Brooks said. "It's not ambitious enough."

Brooks says the carbon tax will have a "very small" impact on the affordability of life, while unstable climate change will lead to floods in people's homes and cause forest fires.

"This has a much greater impact on people's quality of life than four cents per liter of gasoline."

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