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

Meth, cocaine and heroin seized in Trail drug bust

A joint investigation team executed a search warrant in Trail on Aug. 9

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Nearby wildfire closes Idaho Peak

The popular hiking spot is off limits to the public

UPDATE: Search for missing Cranbrook woman enters third day

The search for a Cranbrook woman missing in the Jumbo Pass area is entering its third day.

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Castlegar food bank collecting school supplies

‘What we can do is make sure they start their school year with the things they need — ready to learn.’

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Most Read