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.

#TransMtnBC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

Dementia intensifies loneliness and loss for seniors in pandemic, says caregiver

Seniors care expert says patience and sharing keys to helping those with dementia cope through virus

No injuries in Penticton Indian Band structure fire

The structure, which sustained significant damage, was boarded up and seemingly vacant

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back

Students are set to go back to school next Monday, June 1

Houseboat company partly owned by Shuswap MLA withdraws controversial ad

The ad welcomed houseboaters from other provinces, contradicting anti COVID-19 measures.

Squabble between campers in North Shuswap leads to bear spraying

An argument over late night partying escalated into a fight which led to one person being sprayed

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

VIDEO: Flowers stolen from Vernon distillery

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery captured surveillance footage of the thief in a black car

Fundraiser launched for North Okanagan drive-in

Vernon resident seeks to raise $20K to save Starlight Drive-In

Most Read