REGINA - The Saskatchewan government has announced that it is going to be joining the constitutional intervention before the Supreme Court of Canada this week on the federal Impact Assessment Act.
This is the Act previously known as Bill C-69, also referred to as the "no more pipelines bill.” The challenge will be heard in the Supreme Court on March 22 and 23.
This case is the federal government’s appeal of the Alberta Court of Appeal decision that held the Act and its regulations was unconstitutional and threatened the rights of provinces to control their resources.
Saskatchewan will join all other provinces and territories in Canada, except Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, in arguing the Act exceeds federal jurisdiction under Section 92A of the Constitution Act, 1867.
According to the province’s news release,
Saskatchewan will take the position the federal legislation constitutes an unconstitutional infringement of exclusive provincial jurisdiction in the area of resource development, under which they have exclusive jurisdiction under the Constitution Act. The federal Act authorizes regulators to determine the effects of major infrastructure projects, including pipelines, mines and highways, on environmental and social issues.
"Last spring, the Alberta Court of Appeal held that, with the IAA, the federal government had taken a 'wrecking ball' to exclusive provincial jurisdiction under 92A," Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said in a statement. "This is precisely the kind of continued, unconstitutional, federal infringement that led to our passing the Saskatchewan First Act. Clearly, most provinces agree that the IAA is a significant federal overreach that will stop future infrastructure and resource development in Canada."