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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

New playground, dock in Nelson receive Columbia Basin Trust funding

Projects in Slocan, Winlaw and Taghum also received grants

RCMP still investigating body found between Nelson, Castlegar

Halimi’s body was found between Nelson and Castlegar in May 2018

Security video captures Castlegar porch pirate

Man stole package from front of house in December

Rachel DeShon and Atlantic String Machine perform Saturday at United Church

DeShon moved to Nelson a few years ago. She has toured throughout the U.S. and internationally

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Most Read