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Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s imposing of a national price on carbon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would “seriously disrupt the balance of powers set out in the Constitution,” argues Premier Doug Ford’s government.

In legal arguments filed Friday with the Ontario Court of Appeal, the province contends it would be “unconstitutional” for Ottawa to introduce the measure next year.

Premier Doug Ford’s government has filed legal arguments challenging the validity of the federal government’s plan to charge a national price for carbon.
Premier Doug Ford’s government has filed legal arguments challenging the validity of the federal government’s plan to charge a national price for carbon.  (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

“There is no need to dramatically expand the scope of federal jurisdiction to allow Parliament to impose its preferred method of combating greenhouse gas emissions on the provinces,” the provincial government said.

The 41-page factum, bolstered by more than 400 pages of appendices, maintains the levies in the federal legislation are “neither valid regulatory charges nor valid taxation.”

It is the latest salvo in Ford’s $30-million legal crusade against Trudeau’s carbon-pricing plan. Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are also fighting the federal proposal.

“The extremely wide variety of activities that give rise to greenhouse gas emissions lack the singleness, distinctiveness and indivisibility that must be present before the federal government can regulate a matter under the national concern doctrine,” the factum said.

Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips noted “Ontario is already doing its part and our families, workers, and businesses have already sacrificed a lot.”

“Most of Canada’s progress towards meeting its greenhouse gas emission targets is due to action Ontario has taken without having to resort to a job-killing carbon tax,” said Phillips, who tabled the province’s climate plan Thursday.

“There is no justification to punish them further with a carbon tax,” he said.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said “a court challenge isn’t a substitute for a serious climate plan.”

“Climate change is a crisis. We have jurisdiction. Pollution doesn’t know any borders,” McKenna said in an interview.

“This is clearly an issue of national concern,” she said, noting the prime minister will be discussing it with the premiers at the first ministers’ meeting in Montreal next Friday.

Under Trudeau’s plan, the average Ontario household will pay $244 more annually on gasoline, natural gas, and home heating oil, but will receive $300 back in rebates for a net gain of $56 a year.

The proceeds will be bankrolled by carbon-polluting industries.

Ontario had been exempted from the federal carbon scheme because it was in a cap-and-trade alliance with California and Quebec that brought in $1.9 billion annually to provincial coffers to fund environmental initiatives like retrofitting homes and public buildings as well as subsidize the purchase of electric cars

But the Tories extricated Ontario from the pact, exposing the province to the federal plan to put a price on carbon emissions.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Anglais

Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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