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

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

TRAFFIC: Highway 1 accident causing delays eastbound

Ambulance, fire on scene to clear, major backups

UPDATE: Minor injuries in rollover crash that closed Sea-to-Sky

Hwy. 99 not expected to re-open until 2:30 p.m.

Abbotsford swimmers win in Langley

Olympians swim club members earn high grades at intra-club meet

Abbotsford fire chief eyes new rules to keep vacant homes from burning

New rules could help convince absentee landlords and developers to secure vacant houses

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Quarter of seafood sold in Metro Vancouver is mislabelled: researchers

Intentional mislabelling can mask concerns about sustainability or human rights

Murdered BC woman’s final words, ‘I love you, Mom’

It took 10 years, but Lisa Dudley’s mother finally found out what her daughter said before she passed

Completion date for Alex Fraser Bridge improvements pushed to 2019

New traffic lights at Nordel Way and Highway 91 mark the end of phase one of the project

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Most Read