OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — The Federal Court of Canada has overturned the Trudeau government’s ban on single-use plastic, calling it “unreasonable and unconstitutional.”
On November 16, the Federal Court ruled in favor of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, declaring that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government overstepped its authority by classifying plastic as “toxic” and banning all single-use plastic items, like straws.
“There is no reasonable apprehension that all listed PMI [Plastic Manufactured Items] are harmful,” the decision read.
The decision came after a lawsuit filed a little over a year ago by Alberta and Saskatchewan. The ruling declared that listing all plastics on the List of Toxic Substances was too broad and “poses a threat to the balance of federalism as it does not restrict regulation to only those (plastics) that truly have the potential to cause harm to the environment.”
The court further reminded the Trudeau federal government of the autonomy of the provinces, saying, “Cooperative federalism recognizes that the provincial government and federal government are coordinate – the provinces are not subordinate to the federal government. A federal head of power cannot be given a scope that would eviscerate a provincial legislative competence.”
Essentially, the ruling overturned Trudeau’s 2022 law which outlawed manufacturing or importing plastic straws, cutlery, and checkout bags on the grounds of government claims that plastic was having a negative effect on the oceans. In reality, most plastic pollution in the oceans comes from a few countries, like India and China, which dump waste directly on beaches or rivers.
If not for the Federal Court’s ruling, the sale of these plastic products would have also been illegal by the end of this year.
The Government of Canada had estimated the average Canadian would pay at least $50 each in the higher costs for alternatives to traditional plastic products. Meanwhile, an August study revealed that paper straws may have a worse impact on humans and the environment than standard plastic straws as they contain “forever chemicals” which take thousands of years to break down.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith celebrated the Court’s decision, saying, “Alberta wins again – Federal Court says Liberal plastic ban ‘both unreasonable and unconstitutional.’”
Alberta wins again – Federal Court says Liberal plastic ban ‘both unreasonable and unconstitutional.’
My full statement with the Minister of Environment and Protected Areas @rebeccakschulz:
A little over a year ago, Alberta intervened with the Federal Court to argue that the… pic.twitter.com/l1Lb0PFKzW
— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) November 16, 2023
Smith compared the ruling to the Supreme Court’s recent announcement that Bill C-69, dubbed the “no-more pipelines” bill, is “mostly unconstitutional.” The decision returned jurisdiction over the pipelines to provincial governments.
“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,” Smith explained.
“It’s time for the federal government to listen to the courts and to Canadians,” she added. “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.”
Smith’s request comes as Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault announced Thursday that the federal government is “strongly considering an appeal” of the decision.
“Canadians have been loud and clear that they want action to keep plastic out of our environment,” he claimed. “We will have more to say on next steps soon.”
While Guilbeault attests that Canadians have been “loud and clear” in their desire to eliminate plastic, he is seemingly ignoring the growing number of Canadians calling for the Trudeau government to be replaced.
According to a November survey by Abacus Data, 84% of Canadians want a change in government, leaving only 16% of Canadians content with Trudeau and his Liberal government.