BC government sues Alberta over plan to restrict fuel shipments

Em Cassidy

Em Cassidy

Notley said she is not attending the meeting Wednesday because her time is better spent making sure the Trans Mountain pipeline project goes ahead.

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

With that deadline looming, B.C. business leaders flew to Edmonton last Thursday to show their backing for the project, which would almost triple the flow of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oilsands and increase tanker traffic sevenfold.

It's imperative that Kinder Morgan is able to "finish what it started" and build the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project, the president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Wednesday. The company blamed "the uncertainty created by B.C." and the Horgan government's "opposition to the project".

Both Manitoba and Saskatchewan have supported the pipeline project against British Columbia's objections, but Mr. Pallister said the western provinces need to focus on obstacles to free trade - both global and interprovincial.

But Eby insisted there is "a big difference" between Alberta's oil shut-off law and his government's request for a B.C. judge to rule on the province's power to regulate oil imports on environmental grounds.

Next day, Alberta energy minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd expanded on the threat on the floor of the Alberta legislature. "That is not a thing we are going to let happen".

Em Cassidy

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.

"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.

From the NDP election platform: "The Kinder Morgan pipeline is not in B.C.'s interest ..."

Many people opposed to the TransMountain project would admit that they're not opposed to all pipelines, just this one, just as some people would protest the expansion of a two-lane highway to four lanes because it'll wreck the neighbourhood (in this case, six lanes, since the new pipeline would triple the overall capacity).

Danny Mott, owner of Mott Electric, the electrical contractor on Trans Mountain, said he does not think the federal government has done enough to enforce its jurisdiction, nor to crack down on protesters who block access to Kinder Morgan work sites on a near-daily basis.

Drawing on those and other public pronouncements by B.C. Greens and New Democrats, one could readily conclude that the B.C. reference case, no less than Alberta Bill 12, was also motivated by politics.

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