B.C. files constitutional challenge of Alberta's fuel restriction law

29 May, 2018, 16:17 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will not attend the Western Premiers’ Conference in Yellowknife this week

The Government of British Columbia filed Tuesday the statement of claim-after it had threatened to do so last week-in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench, arguing that the "Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act" recently passed by Alberta violates the Canadian Constitution in the part that prohibits any law that is a tariff or whose objective and essence make it "tariff-like".

Alberta, for its part, says that its threat to turn off the fuel taps to neighboring B.C.is no joke.

With just over a week to go until Kinder Morgan's deadline for abandoning the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, no other companies have publicly come forward to say they'd be interested in taking over the project.

Even though the federal government has promised to backstop the pipeline expansion to guarantee it's built, no other interested parties have stepped up to the plate should Kinder Morgan abandon the project.

And although he said he doesn't believe at this point that Alberta would put Bill C12 into practice, he said BC would file an injunction "right away" if they did.

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Reacting to the lawsuit, Notley said she wasn't surprised and that B.C.is trying to stoke uncertainty in negotiations.

The latest legal action further strains an acrimonious relationship between the two provinces over the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

"While they are at the premiers meeting talking about how to spend that kind of money, I'll be here in Alberta talking about how we can earn that kind of money".

A spokesperson for Horgan's office said the B.C. premier was heading to Yellowknife focused on a national pharmacare program and on ensuring provinces retain a leadership role ion any national drug plan.

Horgan wasn't commenting Monday on Notley's decision to skip the conference.

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At the rally yesterday, one of the speakers was Cedar George-Parker from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, who have been leading the community opposition to the pipeline in British Columbia.

"A significant percentage of the gasoline and diesel consumed in British Columbia is imported from Alberta refineries, either by pipeline, train or tanker truck", the B.C. statement of claim concedes.

Morneau has already unveiled the third option: leaving original project architect Kinder Morgan to handle construction, but covering any cost overruns incurred as a result of political interference.

Premier Horgan says the reference case amounts to nothing more than asking the courts to clarify jurisdiction and vet some proposed changes in the provincial Environment Management Act.

"It is not to stop the pipeline or prevent it", Eby argued.

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