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

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

To get to the other side

Access Smithers, Seniors’ Advocate, and Smithers mayor say crosswalk lights to short.

BVCS special education students enrich the community

Time that all students aren’t a full part of the community is gone.

Northwest guides celebrated

The belt buckles were handed out at the Northwest Guide Outfitters Association’s AGM in Smithers.

Women’s hockey takes over

Smithers arena filled with women hockey teams.

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

First Nation sues Alberta, says oilsands project threatens sacred site

Prosper Petroleum’s $440-million, 10,000-barrel-a-day plans have been vigorously opposed by Fort McKay

North Okanagan site of first RCMP naloxone test project

Free kits, training to be provided to high-risk individuals who spend time in cell blocks

1 arrested after bizarre incident at U.S.-B.C. border involving bags of meth, car crash

Man arrested after ruckus in Sumas and Abbotsford on Thursday night

More B.C. Indigenous students graduating high school: report

70% of Indigenous students graduated, compared to 86% across all B.C. students

2 facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog found in B.C.

Amy Hui-Yu Lin and Glenn Mislang have been charged with causing an animal to continue to be in distress

Out of the doghouse: B.C. city lifts ban on pup who barked too much at dog park

Cameron the Shetland sheepdog is allowed back into Uplands off-leash dog park under some conditions.

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Canada-China relations turn icy over arrest of Chinese exec

The Huawei case has threatened to complicate U.S.-China efforts to resolve a bitter trade dispute.

Most Read