A aerial view of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain marine terminal filling a oil tanker in Burnaby, B.C., is shown on Tuesday, May 29, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

A Calgary judge has denied British Columbia’s attempt to block Alberta legislation that would allow that province to stop oil shipments to the coast.

In a decision released Friday on the so-called Turn Off the Taps bill, Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Hall said that B.C. doesn’t have the right to take Alberta to court in Alberta over legislation passed by the Alberta legislature.

“The only parties with standing to bring this action in this court are the (Attorney General of Alberta) and the (Attorney General of Canada),” Hall wrote in his decision.

Hall said neither province could find a single previous example of such a case going ahead.

“Neither party could direct me to any cases in which one province has sued another province seeking a declaration of constitutional invalidity of legislation enacted by the defendant province.”

Hall said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court, which was specifically created to adjudicate between governments.

“Federal court is the proper forum for this interprovincial dispute.”

An emailed statement from the B.C. Ministry of Attorney General on Friday said the province is reviewing Hall’s decision. The email said B.C. has already filed a similar case in Federal Court, although that body hasn’t said yet whether it will accept it.

“The Province has been clear that we will defend the interests of British Columbians,” the statement said. “We … look forward to the day that this legislation, which is unconstitutional and designed to punish people in B.C., is heard in court.”

A statement released Friday night on behalf of Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said the province was “pleased” with the court ruling.

“We will continue to defend Alberta jobs and economic opportunity and look forward to making our case in Federal Court,” the statement said.

The legal battle is part of the fallout over the TransMountain pipeline expansion.

In response to B.C.’s legal measures against the pipeline, Alberta passed legislation that would allow it to shut off oil shipments to the coast.

B.C. had asked the Alberta court to both declare the law unconstitutional and grant an injunction preventing its implementation.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain bid could be ready next week, Indigenous group says

The TransMountain expansion, 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 the project 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 has been approved for a second time by the federal cabinet.

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

Most Read