Guilbeault's ban on plastics ruled 'unconstitutional' as it undermines provincial jurisdiction

Federal Court quashed a cabinet order to list plastics as 'toxic,' claiming it is 'too broad.' This latest decision follows a Supreme Court ruling that denounced the Impact Assessment Act as 'unconstitutional.'

Guilbeault's ban on plastics ruled 'unconstitutional' as it undermines provincial jurisdiction
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
Remove Ads

The Trudeau Liberals have suffered another judicial defeat on the environment, amid their efforts to save the planet from 'climate change.'

According to the Canadian Press, the Federal Court quashed a cabinet order to list plastics as "toxic" under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, citing the order is too broad.

The decision released Thursday, courtesy of a court challenge by Responsible Plastic Use Coalition and several chemical companies that manufacture plastics, now puts the federal ban on six single-use plastic items in flux.

"Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault just lost a federal court case today, with Justice Angela Furlanetto ruling that Guilbeault’s order labelling all plastics products as toxic is 'both unreasonable and unconstitutional,'" said Anthony Furey, Executive Director of The Stronach Foundation for Economic Rights: A Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

"This does not mean the plastics ban automatically changes though," he added. "The ruling pertains to an order in council Guilbeault made, but not the actual toxic substances legislation. Legal experts will surely weigh in on what can happen next."

With a full ban on their sale and export expected for the end of 2025, the federal government can only regulate substances for environmental protection if they are listed as "toxic" under the act, including straws, grocery bags and takeout containers.

Soon after the decision, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz released a joint statement, endorsing the Federal Court decision to rule the cabinet order as "unconstitutional."

"A little over a year ago, Alberta intervened with the Federal Court to argue that the federal government’s decision to unilaterally label plastic as a 'toxic substance' is an unconstitutional intrusion into provincial jurisdiction and a threat to our economy," reads the statement.

"Today, the Federal Court sided with Alberta and Saskatchewan and found that listing plastics as a toxic substance is 'both unreasonable and unconstitutional.' [...] it does not restrict regulation to only those [plastics] that truly have the potential to cause harm to the environment.'"

According to the province, Furlanetto's ruling demonstrates the federal ban on plastics "poses a threat to the balance of federalism."

The court ruled that "cooperative federalism recognizes that the provincial government and federal government are coordinate – the provinces are not subordinate to the federal government. It contends that a federal head of power cannot intrude on 'provincial legislative competence.’"

This latest decision comes on the heels of the Supreme Court of Canada decision confirming the unconstitutionality of the federal government’s destructive Impact Assessment Act, formerly known as Bill C-69, and demonstrates a continued pattern of federal overreach intended to subvert the constitutionally protected role and rights of provinces using the criminal head of power.

"Like Bill C-69, the federal government’s decision to unilaterally label perfectly safe plastic consumer products as 'toxic' has had wide-ranging consequences for Alberta’s economic interests and has put thousands of jobs and billions of investments at risk," reads the joint statement.

"Alberta is proudly home to Canada’s largest petrochemical sector, a sector with more than $18 billion in recently announced projects that were needlessly put in jeopardy by a virtue-signaling federal government with no respect for the division of powers outlined in the Canadian Constitution," it said, adding: "It’s time for the federal government to listen to the courts and to Canadians."

"We urge them to not appeal this decision, and to immediately delete 'plastic manufactured items' from Schedule 1 of the current Canadian Environmental Protection Act so as to avoid further need of legal action by Alberta and other provinces."

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

Never miss a story!

Get updates on our coverage of Alberta's Legislature straight to your inbox.

Sign Up

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads