B.C. Attorney General David Eby (Hansard TV)

David Eby calls Alberta’s ‘bluff’ on pipeline restrictions

Saskatchewan also plans restrictions on B.C. fuel shipments

As B.C. Premier John Horgan continued to call for calm in the pipeline dispute with Alberta, his Attorney General David Eby scoffed at its threat to restrict fuel shipments to B.C.

Eby said Tuesday his ministry has reviewed Alberta’s legislation, presented Monday to give the province new authority to require licences for pipeline, rail and truck shipments. He said the bill is “unconstitutional on its face” and he can’t imagine a situation where Alberta would try to use it.

“Clearly the legislation is a bluff,” Eby told reporters at the B.C. legislature. “They don’t intend to use it. If they did try to use it, we would be in court immediately, seeking an injunction to stop them from using it. But we’d probably have to get in line behind oil companies that would be concerned about contracts that they have with companies in British Columbia to deliver product.”

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley indicated the licence restriction option will be there “if Alberta needs it” to ensure the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proceeds. Its owner, Kinder Morgan Canada, has sought assurances by the end of May that legal and other roadblocks to twinning the pipeline are removed, suspending non-essential spending on the $7 billion project until then.

The situation escalated further Monday as Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe indicated he will follow Alberta’s lead and provide for similar measures to restrict fuel shipments to B.C.

“If fuel tanks in British Columbia start to run dry because Alberta has turned the taps off, it won’t be Saskatchewan filling them up,” Moe said in a social media post.

RELATED: Oil-by-rail traffic rises as pipelines at capacity

RELATED: Chilliwack-area chief backs pipeline benefits

The Trans Mountain pipeline has operated between Alberta, B.C. and Washington state since the mid-1950s, delivering gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as well as crude oil. Since the late 1980s it has intermittently shipped diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands, which is the product B.C. opposes being shipped in larger amounts by tanker.

In the B.C. legislature, opposition MLAs continued to press Horgan and his ministers on the situation, asking about ongoing backups of lumber, grain and other commodities on rail lines.

Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston said he has written to CN Rail about the severe backlog of forest products in the B.C. Interior, and has been told the problem is a shortage of rail cars for grain and lumber.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants earn a 3-1 victory over Everett in season-opener in Langley

Langley’s major junior hockey team opened the season at home with a victory over the Silvertips.

Abbotsford Friday Night Lights

Recaps of all three senior varsity football team games

‘Serious incident’ sends Abbotsford area worker to hospital

Few details are currently available, but WorkSafeBC says it is investigating

Raj Patara looks to bring ‘positive change’ to Abbotsford school board

Patara says focus should be on transparency, communication and accountability in school district

WATCH: A final salute for outgoing Abbotsford police chief Bob Rich

Changing of the guard ceremony held in Thunderbird Memorial Square Thursday morning

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read