B.C. files constitutional challenge of Alberta's fuel restriction law
B.C. files constitutional challenge of Alberta's fuel restriction law
Pipes are seen at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain facility in Edmonton Jonathan Hayward CP
28 May, 2018, 23:14
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".
Eby said the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench challenges the constitutionality of Alberta's law because it is meant to punish B.C.
Notley said one participant at the meeting - B.C. Premier John Horgan - is trying to shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline and take $15 billion out of the Canadian economy.
There won't be any fireworks between the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia at the Western premiers conference this week, because Alberta Premier Rachel Notley isn't going.
She said while she wants to proceed with the issues discussed at the meeting, it is folly to talk about how to spend money while ignoring critical issues on how to raise it.
The claim was filed Tuesday, as the latest volley in the neighbouring provinces' feud over the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion. "In order to protect and improve the things that matter to people, like pharmacare, we need a strong, functioning national economy".
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The company responsible for the project, Kinder Morgan, set a self-imposed deadline to mothball the project if political interferences are not dealt with by the end of May.
The bill, introduced by Alberta Senator Doug Black in February, passed third reading on Tuesday.
Before he left for the meeting, Horgan said he didn't expect tensions over the pipeline to dominate discussions among the premiers.
In filing the claim, Eby said it came about after "we repeatedly called on Alberta not to move forward with blatantly unconstitutional legislation".
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. "On one hand, they don't want our oil, and on the other hand, they are suing us to give them our oil", she said. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has offered an indemnity to backstop the pipeline project.
With this lawsuit, British Columbia seeks "a declaration that the Act is inconsistent, in whole or in part, with the Constitution of Canada and is of no force and effect". "In addition to economic harm, a sudden disruption in supply could injure human health and safety in remote communities".
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