Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she doesn’t believe British Columbia’s legal challenge to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion has merit, but her government will be watching closely and won’t give its neighbour a free ride on it.

Notley said she’s not sure the B.C. courts will make a ruling on the clearly established constitutional rule that the federal government has the final say on what goes into trans-boundary pipelines.

She said if B.C. can’t find traction on that issue, dubbed ‘Point Five,’ it may try a different legal tack, and Alberta will be ready to respond.

“I think ultimately Point Five is dead because I’m not even sure that the B.C. Court of Appeal would even agree to render a decision,” Notley said in an interview Friday.

“The question (then) becomes ‘Do they (B.C. officials) come up with something else, though, to put to the B.C. Court of Appeal,’ and if that’s the case what alternatives do we have at our disposal?”

Notley isn’t specifying the options being looked at, but has suggested there would be further retaliatory action if Alberta believes B.C. is trying to stall the project through frivolous legal challenges or other means.

Her comments come a day after the first break in an escalating trade war over the pipeline, which has been approved by Ottawa and would triple the amount of crude flowing from Edmonton to a terminal in Burnaby.

On Thursday, Premier John Horgan announced his government was reversing its plan to suspend taking additional oil from Alberta until it was sure B.C.’s coastline and waterways were safe from catastrophic oil spills.

READ MORE: Cautious optimism on lifted wine ban at B.C. Wine Institute

READ MORE: Weaver calls for ‘immediate’ action to boost B.C. wine amid pipeline feud

Horgan said he would instead go to the courts to get a legal ruling on whether B.C. has a right to take such action under the Constitution.

In response, Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine. Alberta is B.C.’s biggest wine customer, about $70 million worth of business a year, and this week the B.C. Wine Institute said wine growers were being severely affected.

The federal government has maintained it has the right to dictate what goes in pipelines and has declined to join B.C. on the constitutional reference.

Notley defended the decision to end the wine ban despite some critics who say Horgan has not killed the issue, but simply moved the fight to a different battlefield.

She has said the wine ban is not rescinded but suspended.

READ MORE: Wine war puts Okanagan vintners in a tough position

“When we came forward with the ban … we made it very clear: ‘Pull Point Five and we will pull the ban.’ And that’s what happened,” she said.

“We’re not trying to escalate (the dispute). We’re trying to make a point and to de-escalate.”

Two weeks ago, Notley struck a task force of business, finance and academic leaders to respond to B.C.’s actions.

Notley said that task force will stay in place and will meet next week to continue to explore ways to get Alberta oil to tidewater and respond to similar future challenges.

Notley has called Trans Mountain a critical part of Alberta’s energy industry that brings spin off jobs across Canada.

Alberta crude sells at a discount, sometimes a sharp one, compared with the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate price due to pipeline bottlenecks and a lack of access to overseas markets.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ucluelet shakes up emergency services, removes manager, eyes new sirens

District has eliminated Emergency and Environmental Manager position

Port Alberni’s Walk for Dog Guides has a new look, new route

Bosley’s comes on board as sponsor for May 27 event

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are past: Coulson

The famed Martin Mars air tankers continue to draw interest from potential… Continue reading

Alberni RCMP officers honoured for taking drunk driver off the streets

Constables Brian Kenny, Rob Jackson named to Alexa’s Team

Port Alberni man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road on first day of May long weekend

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

VIDEO: How to use naloxone to stop a fentanyl overdose

ANKORS’ Chloe Sage shows what to do when someone is overdosing

UPDATED: BC Ferries freezes plans to nix fuel rebates pending government funds

Claire Trevena says she is ‘extremely disappointed’ by a plan by BC Ferries to remove fuel rebates

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

Liberal government introduces measures to update Canada’s family laws

Justice officials say there have not been substantial updates to federal family laws in 20 years

B.C. mom threatens legal action against sunscreen company

Caleb Jordan, 6, was covered in blisters 20 minutes after using Banana Boat sunscreen

BC Games Society president to step down

Kelly Mann says it’s time for a change after 26 years with the society

B.C. politicians framed by anonymous sticky-note doodler

Insider has been posting caricatures from the B.C. legislature to social media

27 years since initial police probe, polygamist leader to be sentenced in June

Prosecutor recommend up to 6 months jail, defence asks for conditional or absolute discharge

Most Read