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

Port Alberni residents enjoy public tours on Coast Guard vessel

PromoScience Expedition offered the public a chance to learn about marine research

Coast Guard vessel open for second day of public tours on Alberni waterfront

Talk to marine scientists, learn about research equipment on CCGS Vector

Port Alberni walks for World Food Day

John Paul II Catholic School students walked to end world hunger

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land on Stamp Avenue for its expansion

Two Port Alberni cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Leaf Compassion and Cannabis Club ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read