The CCF is intervening in a Supreme Court hearing about the constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA). The IAA provides a mechanism to the federal government to pause–and ultimately—approve or prohibit natural resource projects that “may cause effects within federal jurisdiction”. In 2022, the Alberta Court of Appeal found the IAA unconstitutional in a reference case. The Court held that the IAA “constitutes a profound invasion into provincial legislative jurisdiction and provincial proprietary rights” which, if upheld, would result in the “centralization of the governance of Canada to the point this country would no longer be recognized as a real federation.”

In its written submissions, the CCF argued that IAA’s impacts on provincial jurisdiction are not merely incidental and in fact eviscerate provincial powers related to local works and development of natural resources. Further, the CCF argued that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act reference confirms that Parliament may not under the Peace Order and Good Governance clause block a project based on its “extraprovincial effects”, such as greenhouse gas emissions.

The CCF is represented in this case by Brett Carlson, Aidan Paul and Peter Banks of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and is grateful for their hard work and diligence on this case.

This case was heard in March 2023.

VICTORY: CCF pleased that Impact Assessment Act scheme declared unconstitutional

Protecting federalism and the rule of law (Impact Assessment Act’s constitutionality)

CCF Launch: March 23, 2023
Status: Closed
Next Key Date: Case Complete

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