Al­berta ta­bles leg­is­la­tion to limit oil, gas ship­ments

The Daily Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By The Cana­dian Press

EDMONTON — The Al­berta govern­ment has in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion that would give the en­ergy min­is­ter power to re­strict the flow of oil, gaso­line and nat­u­ral gas leav­ing the prov­ince.

Once passed, Marg McCuaigBoyd would be able to di­rect truck­ers, pipe­line com­pa­nies and rail op­er­a­tors on how much prod­uct could be shipped and when. Vi­o­la­tors would face fines of up to $1 mil­lion a day for in­di­vid­u­als and $10 mil­lion a day for cor­po­ra­tions.

“The bill sends a clear mes­sage: we will use ev­ery tool at our dis­posal to de­fend Al­ber­tans (and) to de­fend our resources,” Not­ley said Mon­day be­fore in­tro­duc­ing the pro­posed law in the leg­is­la­ture.

Ex­ist­ing pipe­lines are near ca­pac­ity, and the bill aims to give Al­berta the power to ad­just what is shipped and where it goes to en­sure max­i­mum prof­itabil­ity, she said.

Al­berta is locked in a dis­pute with Bri­tish Columbia over the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line. An ex­pan­sion to the West Coast has been ap­proved by the fed­eral govern­ment, but B.C. is fight­ing it in the courts.

Not­ley said the pro­posed leg­is­la­tion is not pun­ish­ing B.C. for the Kin­der Mor­gan project’s de­lay, which she says costs Canada $40 mil­lion a day in lost rev­enue due to mar­ket bot­tle­necks and higher ship­ping fees.

But she said Al­berta is “very com­mit­ted to putting pres­sure on B.C. to come around and fo­cus on what this pipe­line ac­tu­ally means.”

B.C. En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Ge­orge Hey­man said his prov­ince will care­fully ex­am­ine the leg­is­la­tion Al­berta has tabled.

“I’m not count­ing on Al­berta tak­ing ex­treme or un­law­ful ac­tions, but if they do we’re pre­pared to de­fend Bri­tish Columbians’ in­ter­ests with ev­ery le­gal means avail­able and in the courts,” he said.

Hey­man said the govern­ment would con­sider court ac­tion if the leg­is­la­tion were to cause gaso­line prices in B.C. to spike.

B.C.’s at­tor­ney gen­eral, David Eby, said B.C. is pre­pared to sue Al­berta if the law pun­ishes his prov­ince.

“We know, as I’m sure they know, that the con­sti­tu­tion for­bids dis­crim­i­na­tion around en­ergy be­tween prov­inces,” Eby said.

About 80,000 bar­rels a day of re­fined fu­els go to Bri­tish Columbia.

Much of B.C.’s en­ergy from Al­berta comes from ship­ments on the ex­ist­ing Trans Moun­tain line from Al­berta to Burn­aby, B.C. Re­duc­ing oil flows could lead to im­me­di­ate gas price spikes at the pumps, along with other higher costs.

B.C. Pre­mier John Hor­gan has been fight­ing the ex­pan­sion, even though the fed­eral govern­ment ap­proved the $7.4-bil­lion project in Novem­ber 2016. Hor­gan has said there are still con­cerns re­lat­ing to oil spills and pro­tect­ing B.C.’s coast­line.

The Kin­der Mor­gan project would triple the amount of oil shipped on the cur­rent line, but has faced re­peated court chal­lenges and per­mit de­lays.

Kin­der Mor­gan an­nounced ear­lier this month that it is pulling back on spend­ing for the project and has given Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s govern­ment un­til May 31 to give a clear sig­nal that the project will pro­ceed.

VAN­COU­VER — Sev­eral First Na­tions and the cities of Van­cou­ver and Burn­aby have joined to­gether to re­dou­ble their op­po­si­tion to the ex­pan­sion of the Trans Moun­tain pipe­line.

Burn­aby Mayor Derek Cor­ri­gan says the ex­pan­sion project “short cir­cuits” the le­gal process and civil disobe­di­ence against the pipe­line it will only con­tinue to grow.

Cor­ri­gan says he’s em­bar­rassed that Canada’s prime min­is­ter and a pre­mier of our coun­try are kow­tow­ing to an Amer­i­can multina- tional oil com­pany that isn’t play­ing by the rules in its ef­fort to push through the pipe­line.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau met the pre­miers of B.C. and Al­berta on Sun­day over the im­passe and after the meet­ing he promised fi­nan­cial and leg­isla­tive tools to en­sure the ex­pan­sion could pro­ceed.

Union of B.C. In­dian Chief’s Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of Pen­tic­ton, one of sev­eral First Na­tions voices at a news con­fer­ence to­day, says op­po­si­tion to the project is broad-based and en- trenched.

He says First Na­tions have a con­sti­tu­tional and le­gal right to pro­tect the health and well-be­ing of their loved ones and if there was ever a spill of bi­tu­men on land or wa­ter it could be cat­a­strophic.

Kin­der Mor­gan has stopped all non-es­sen­tial spend­ing on the pipe­line while the fed­eral govern­ment tries to re­as­sure the com­pany’s in­vestors that the project will move for­ward de­spite op­po­si­tion from the govern­ment of Bri­tish Columbia.

The Cana­dian Press

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, left, pres­i­dent of the Union of B.C. In­dian Chiefs, speaks as Wil­liam Ge­orge, a mem­ber of the Tsleil-Wau­tuth First Na­tion and a guardian at the watch house near Kin­der Mor­gan’s Burn­aby fa­cil­ity, lis­tens dur­ing a news...

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