Following in the footsteps of the Alberta government, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says his government will be introducing to legislation to block energy exports to British Columbia in the coming days.
Alberta’s proposed law would give its energy minister power to restrict the flow of oil, natural gas and gasoline out of the province.
Alberta and B.C. have been in a lengthy feud over the federally approved Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
“As soon as we can get it together, we will be introducing it,” Moe said when asked when his government planned on tabling legislation.
The premier said it may not be tabled this week, but it will be ready in days, not weeks.
“We will be asking for the opposition’s support on this legislation. We’d like to pass it this session; as quickly as possible. So in the event Alberta moves on their legislation and does turn off the taps, if you will, to British Columbia, Saskatchewan won’t be filling those fuel tanks up,” Moe said.
Moe added that he wished the situation involving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion hadn’t come to this point. He said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should have stepped up and acted sooner because the pipeline in federal jurisdiction, not B.C.’s.
“We hope we don’t have to use this legislation. It’s our true and sincere hope that the federal government uses the tools in their toolbox and have been willing to use in areas where they don’t have jurisdiction in this case,” Moe said.
He added that the federal government should be withholding infrastructure funding to put pressure on B.C., similar to what happened with $62 million in federal climate change dollars when Saskatchewan didn’t sign onto the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change.
Moe says that oil backlogs cost Saskatchewan $100 million in oil revenue annually, so Saskatchewan is losing out due to the Trans Mountain delays.
Opposition Leader Ryan Meili says the project is federally approved and should be built. Where Moe and Meili differ is that Meili would like to see this remain a federal issue.
“The federal government should be showing leadership and that’s where pressure should be focused,” Meili said.
“I don’t think at this time it’s appropriate to be taking retaliatory measures. This is a federal issue and we should be demanding leadership from the federal government.”
When asked about supporting the Saskatchewan Party’s upcoming legislation, Meili said the NDP would review it before making a final decision on whether or not to support it.
However, Meili said this latest move from Moe is the Saskatchewan premier trying to insert himself into the story and it is political posturing.