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Kenney threatens to stop flow of oil to B.C.; Notley sending lawyers to Ottawa

WATCH: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her Market Access Task Force is looking at possible future actions the province could take against B.C. if it continues to delay federally approved pipelines.

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.

READ MORE: Rachel Notley ‘blinked’ in revoking B.C. wine ban: Jason Kenney 

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.

Jason Kenney threatens to stop flow of oil to BC if he becomes premier
Jason Kenney threatens to stop flow of oil to BC if he becomes premier
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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.

READ MORE: Alberta government says B.C. breaking ‘rules of confederation’ in full page newspaper ad 

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.

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“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.

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READ MORE: ‘This is a fight between B.C. and the rest of Canada’: Alberta not backing down on B.C. wine boycott

“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.

Alberta and B.C. premiers escalate pipeline fight
Alberta and B.C. premiers escalate pipeline fight

“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.”

READ MORE: Poll shows Canadians split 50-50 on B.C.-Alberta pipeline spat, but more say project delays are wrong 

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.

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“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.”

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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.

READ MORE: Alberta suspends ban on B.C. wine after Horgan backs down on restricting bitumen

— With files from Scott Johnston, 630 CHED and Global’s Emily Mertz

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