BC Sues Alberta Over 'Turn-Off-Fuel-Tap' Legislation


Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman wanted the final letter from the Western Premiers' Conference in Yellowknife to express support for the Trans Mountain pipeline from every premier at the table, but that didn't happen.

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

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. "A company can not resolve differences between governments".

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".

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The British Columbia government filed a constitutional lawsuit Tuesday countering an Alberta government bill that would limit fuel being sent to the province.

"A significant disruption in the supply of gasoline, diesel, and crude oil from Alberta to British Columbia would cause British Columbia irreparable harm", the document asserts. Alberta has 20 days to file a statement of defence. "Maybe, I'm just an acquaintance", he says.

"We think the stock itself is pricing in a less than 25-percent chance of the project going ahead", said Matthew Murphy, an analyst with investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt and Co.

The B.C. NDP government does agree with the Alberta NDP government on one point - cutting off shipments of oil, natural gas and refined fuels would indeed serve to punish this province.

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If Trans Mountain fails, it would be the third major Canadian export pipeline project to stall in two years, putting greater pressure on Canadian heavy crude prices that already trade at a discount to global prices due to limited transport.

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

The company suspended all non-essential construction on the project in April, citing opposition from the B.C. government that put the viability of the pipeline in question.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has said she's willing to "turn off the taps" if B.C. doesn't relent and allow the project to go forward or if the federal government doesn't step in and force it to proceed.

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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.