Attorney General David Eby (B.C. Government/Flickr)

B.C. sues Alberta over bill that could ‘turn oil taps off’

Lawsuit is the latest move in the two provinces’ ongoing feud over the Kinder Morgan pipeline

The B.C. government is challenging the constitutionality of an Alberta bill that, if passed, could allow that province to restrict the export of refined oil into this province.

The claim was filed Tuesday, as the latest volley in the neighbouring provinces’ feud over the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

Bill 12, also known as the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, was tabled last week.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has said she’s willing to “turn off the taps” if B.C. doesn’t relent and allow the project to go forward or if the federal government doesn’t step in and force it to proceed. She did not specify a timeline.

Notley bowed out of a Western premier’s meeting this week, saying she didn’t think she could politely discuss pharmacare when one of the other premiers is trying to “choke the economic lifeblood” out of her province.

B.C. Attorney General David Eby said Tuesday the bill is meant to “punish” B.C., and that the court challenge comes after his government “failed” to convince Alberta to refer their law to the courts.

“A significant disruption in the supply of gasoline, diesel, and crude oil from Alberta to British Columbia would cause British Columbia irreparable harm,” the statement of claim reads.

Eby questioned why Alberta would take the time draft a law knowing that B.C. would challenge it, instead of referring the matter to a provincial or federal judge, as his government did.

“Why don’t we just go to the source?” he said.

The NDP filed a reference case in at the B.C. Court of Appeal last month to determine if it has jurisdiction to regulate heavy oil shipments. It also joined two other lawsuits launched by Indigenous groups opposed to the $7.4-billion project.

READ MORE: Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

READ MORE: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Eby again denied allegations that his government is trying to delay the pipeline, saying it is looking for environmental protections.

If Alberta does restrict oil transports to B.C. gas pumps, he said, the province is prepared to ask a judge to make an order against it through an injunction.

Notley said she wasn’t surprised by B.C.’s legal action in a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Plans to triple capacity along the existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby have pitted Alberta and the federal government against B.C.’s government since January.

B.C. argues that the risk of a spill is too great for the province’s environment and economy and would like to further study its impacts before the pipeline’s construction begins.

Notley argued B.C. has delayed the pipeline expansion.

“They are still reserving the right to play legal rope-a-dope until the cows come home,” Notley said.

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the project until it receives assurances it can proceed without delays, setting a May 31 deadline on getting those guarantees.

– with a file from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Chilliwack Chiefs sit atop BCHL standings

No one expected the young Chiefs to be this good this fast, but can it last?

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

On Oct. 19, gospel musician, Rob Berg, hosts first concert in Chilliwack in 25 years

Held at the Sardis Community Church, the concert celebrates his career and new album release

Outgoing Chilliwack board chair says anti-SOGI trustees won’t be allowed in schools

Candidates’ anti-LGBTQ rhetoric makes for awkward situations with students, teachers, administrators

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

B.C. man who abducted and assaulted 11-year-old girl has parole rules tightened

Brian Abrosimo made ‘inappropriate and sexualized’ comments to female staff

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read