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BC will face consequences over plan to ban increased oil shipments: Notley

Last Updated Jan 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm PDT

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock is seen in Burnaby, B.C., on November 25, 2016. The B.C. government is creating more uncertainty around Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Trans Mountain expansion project with a proposal to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies. Provincial Environment Minister George Heyman says there needs to be more confidence in how well oil transporters are prepared to respond and fully mitigate the effects of a potential spill. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

EDMONTON (NEWS 1130) – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says there will be consequences for British Columbia over the province’s latest attempt to hinder expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

Notley is holding an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss what range of legal and economic levers Alberta can pull in its spat with its neighbour to the west.

“Our economies, the economies of the two provinces, are closely linked,” she said. “Billions of dollars of goods cross our borders every year. Hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on good trading relationships.

“The government of Alberta will not, we cannot, let this unconstitutional attack on jobs and working people stand. I’ve called you all together today at this emergency meeting to discuss and evaluate the range of economic and legal options that are available to us.”

Notley cited interprovincial trade in electricity as one of the possible lines of pursuit.

“Just because the BC government, in coalition with the Green Party, doesn’t like the decision gives them absolutely no right to ignore the law or put another way, to change the rules at halftime based on a whim.”

BC’s environment minister said Tuesday that the province plans to ban increase shipments of diluted bitumen off its coast until it can determine that shippers are prepared and able to properly clean up a spill.

The BC government says it will establish an independent scientific advisory panel to study the issue.

Local MP weighs in

The Liberal member of parliament for North Vancouver says he’s not surprised by the BC NDP government’s move on this issue, but says the Trans Mountain pipeline should be constructed.

“At the end of the day, our view is the decision was taken based on evidence, based on science, based on addressing the concerns of folks, and we believe that the pipeline should proceed,” says Jonathan Wilkinson.

Wilkinson says ultimately this is a federal decision, not a provincial one.

“We’ve been clear that we believe that the major concerns have been addressed,” says Wilkinson. “Those relating to spills and through the oceans protection plan, those relating to climate change through the pan-Canadian framework. The federal government took a position, we haven’t changed our view. We believe that these issues are in federal jurisdiction and we will proceed forward.”