In case you missed the Federal Court’s pronouncement on the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (you remember, that private member’s bill that tried to bind Ottawa to keeping the carbon targets of Kyoto?), you can find it here in PDF format.
The action was brought by former Bloc MP Daniel Turp, who says that the government should have let Parliament and the provinces weigh in on the decision to withdraw from the Protocol. The Court, to put it bluntly, disagreed. Of interest in particular is paragraph 25 of the decision:
… This Court is of the opinion that the KPIA contains no provision, condition or restriction that would limit the royal prerogative of the government to withdraw from the Protocol. The applicant relied in particular on the title and purpose of the KPIA: “An Act to ensure Canada meets its global climate change obligations under the Kyoto Protocol” and “to ensure that Canada takes effective and timely action to meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.” However, the government’s decision to withdraw from the Protocol is clearly provided by article 27 of that Protocol and thus the government was in compliance with it.
In a nutshell: if KPIA bound the Government to the Kyoto Protocol, then it also bound the government to follow article 27, allowing it to withdraw. And article 27 doesn’t say anything about requiring permission from the legislative branch or other governmental third parties.
The Court also found that KPIA never required the government to consult Parliament on the matter of withdrawal, and that Mr. Turp was not empowered to argue on behalf of the provinces when he tried to argue for their consultation.
I don’t imagine that Mr. Turp (not to mention a few loud “progressives”) would be happy at this decision. I’m also inclined to think that an appeal to the Supreme Court is likely to fail. The top court tends to hear cases only when there’s a chance that the justice misinterpreted case or statute law, or otherwise wasn’t clear in his reasoning. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.