Alberta’s Opposition leader said Monday if he becomes premier there will be “serious consequences” for British Columbia if it blocks the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Jason Kenney said he would be prepared to stop permits for the shipment of Alberta oil through the Trans Mountain pipeline, and place a toll on shipments of natural gas from B.C. through Alberta.
The United Conservative Party leader made the comments to reporters in Vancouver during a trip to B.C. to speak about the need for “environmentally responsible resource development.”
Kenney acknowledges that some Calgary-based companies that develop B.C. natural gas would not be happy with a toll, but he says the job of an Alberta premier is to defend the province’s economic future.
WATCH: UCP leader Jason Kenney says if he becomes premier, he would stop the flow of oil to British Columbia if it continues to stall the Trans Mountain pipeline. As Kendra Slugoski explains, he’s taking a page from playbook of late premier Peter Lougheed.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley banned B.C. wines in response to that province’s proposal to limit diluted bitumen shipments. She later lifted the ban after Premier John Horgan said he would ask the courts to decide whether his government can bring in the restrictions.
On Monday, Notley said her government is sending lawyers to Ottawa this week to compare notes with their federal counterparts as they prepare for the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Notley said they’d look at preventing “stalling tactics” that could further delay construction of the pipeline project. She cited the most recent objections raised by the municipality of Burnaby, B.C.
“The certificate-issuing authority that the municipality has is very limited and can’t be used to effectively obstruct the project, which we think, fairly clearly, they were on the path of doing.
“Obviously, the NEB was also concerned as they made a decision to usurp Burnaby’s authority on that matter and move forward,” the premier said.
She made her comments after the second meeting of the Market Access Task Force that she put together.
“We’ve been working very hard here with our officials to think creatively about how Ottawa can best address this issue, deal with the delay strategies, assert its authority but do so in a measured way that doesn’t create economic instability,” Notley said.
“We’ve been problem-solving and thinking about that, and so have their officials, and that’s why our folks are going out to meet with them.”
Notley said the lawyers who are working on the intervention are confident B.C. really doesn’t have a case.
“The consequences of what B.C. may be asking the courts to do would do serious harm to our country and do irreparable harm to our union.
“So go ask the courts if you have a right to do something that no one believes that you do. That is your right. Have at her. But understand that in so doing, B.C. is playing a very dangerous game that will hurt the economy and the country.”
According to Notley, the task force talked about how to retaliate against B.C. if Horgan’s government pushes too hard and oversteps its boundaries again.
The NEB is heading to court, claiming Burnaby is overstepping its jurisdiction by denying work permits for the pipeline expansion. Alberta and Ottawa are seeking intervener status.
— With files from Scott Johnston, 630 CHED and Global’s Emily Mertz