Law forcing gas stations to display anti-carbon tax stickers is unconstitutional, court rules

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Law forcing gas stations to display anti-carbon tax stickers is unconstitutional, court rules's Profile



An Ontario court has struck down a law forcing gas station owners to prominently display government-produced stickers about the federal carbon tax.

The stickers feature a graph and state that the federal carbon tax has raised the price of gas by 4.4 cents per litre.

They also claim that the carbon tax will cause pump prices to rise by 11 cents per litre by 2022.

However, Superior Court Justice Edward Morgan says the law is unconstitutional and infringes on business owners’ rights.

He says there is no justification for the law under the Charter and that the Ford government crossed the line when they threatened to fine business owners who did not display the decals.

Specifically, Justice Morgan says the provincial government cannot force private business owners or their staff to “stick it to” the federal government or any other political party.

He adds that the messaging on the stickers amounts to “blatant advantage-seeking by a political party and misuse of a governing party’s legislative power.”

The legal challenge was raised by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, though the Ontario Chamber of Commerce also slammed the law.

In an open letter to the province, Chamber President Rocco Rossi wrote that the stickers are an example of unnecessary red tape hindering businesses and infringe on the rights of owners.

Ontario’s Energy Minister, Greg Rickford says he respects the court decision.

However he says the provincial government “will always stand up for the people of Ontario when it comes to matters that make everyday life more expensive for hardworking families.”

Meanwhile, the province is moving forward with their own legal challenge of the carbon tax itself.

They argue that Ottawa has no right to impose the tax.

The Supreme Court is set to hear that case later this month.

Photo courtesy of the Ontario Government

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