Next week, the Supreme Court of Canada will resume hearing in-person appeals after a brief hiatus because of the COVID-19 emergency. In June 2019, the Supreme Court heard several appeals by videoconference. All other appeals were suspended. The fall session begins on September 22, 2020, with several public law appeals coming to the Court from references to provincial courts of appeal:
- The Supreme Court will consider the scope of federal authority in three appeals of reference cases regarding the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. The provincial governments in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan referred questions of the constitutionality of the federal government's imposition of prices for greenhouse gas emissions. Majorities of the courts of appeal in Ontario and Saskatchewan upheld the constitutionality of the federal pricing plan as within the scope of Parliament's powers. A majority of the Alberta Court of Appeal, however, held that, through the Act, Parliament effectively unduly co-opted provincial powers.
- The Court will consider the balance of authority between Québec's courts in Conférence des juges de la Cour du Québec v Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Quebec. The Québec Court of Appeal held that the monetary jurisdiction of the Court of Québec was set too high at $85,000, thereby unduly encroaching on the Superior Court's jurisdiction under section 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867. The Court of Appeal upheld the constitutionality of the Court of Québec's judicial review function, notwithstanding duplication with the Superior Court's jurisdiction.