B.C. filed a statement of claim in Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench last month calling the law unconstitutional and has made a similar filing in Federal Court. (Flickr photo)

‘B.C.’s vital interests are at stake’: Lawyers battle over Alberta’s turn-off-the-taps law

Alberta government lawyer argued that the province’s turn-off-the taps legislation not meant to hurt B.C.

A lawyer for the Alberta government has argued that the province’s turn-off-the taps legislation is not meant to hurt B.C. despite political rhetoric that suggests otherwise.

A Calgary judge is hearing B.C.’s request for an injunction against the law.

The province filed a statement of claim in Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench last month calling the law unconstitutional and has made a similar filing in Federal Court.

Evan Dixon, a lawyer for the Alberta government, says the legislation is neutral on its face and there have been no orders to restrict the flow of oil to B.C.

He also argued B.C.’s attorney general does not have standing to fight the law in court because there are parties that would be more directly affected.

Gareth Morley, a lawyer for the B.C. government, said it’s the attorney general’s job to stick up for the public interest.

“We’re here because British Columbia’s vital interests are at stake,” Morley told the court Friday.

ALSO READ: No pipeline fireworks as Western premiers exit annual meeting

Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Hall interrupted Dixon frequently to challenge him on his points. He said it’s clear from Premier Jason Kenney’s comments in the legislature that the law is meant to squeeze Alberta’s western neighbour.

“It’s to lay some hurt on B.C. and so the government of B.C. says, ‘I’m going to stand up for my people,’” Hall said.

The legislation was passed — but never used — by Alberta’s former NDP government as a way to put pressure on B.C. to drop its fight against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The new United Conservative government in Alberta proclaimed it into force shortly after Kenney was sworn in.

Kenney has said he doesn’t intend to use the law right now, but he will if B.C. throws up roadblocks to the pipeline.

The project, first approved in 2016, would triple the amount of oil flowing from the oilsands to B.C.’s Lower Mainland and from there to lucrative new markets across the Pacific.

The federal government bought the existing pipeline last year for $4.5 billion after its original builder, Texas-based Kinder Morgan, threatened to walk away from its expansion because of B.C.’s resistance.

The Federal Court of Appeal quashed the approval months later on the grounds that there hadn’t been enough consultation with First Nations or consideration of the pipeline’s potential impact on marine wildlife.

The project was approved for a second time by the federal cabinet last week.

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rain in forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap region

Mixed bag of clouds, sun and showers forecast for the week ahead

Summerland once had college campus

From 1906 to 1915, Summerland’s Okanagan College operated in the community

Summerland holds multiple events to launch festive season

Festival of Lights, Light Up the Vines and Sip ’n’ Shop will be held in late November and December

PET OF THE WEEK: Moose still needs a home

Critteraid cat wants a nice, quiet environment

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

Election 2019: Robert Mellalieu — Green Party candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu is running for the Green Party in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

Roads contractor waits for snow removal equipment as winter looms

The newly-hired highway maintenance company serving the region is hitting some bumps… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Okanagan Lotto 649 ticket matches five of six numbers and bonus

Ticket in Saturday’s draw bought in Vernon and is worth nearly $32,000

Hundreds turn out for Singh, NDP candidate rally in Penticton

The messaging was clear, NDP “chooses you”

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Most Read