May 17, 2018
Alberta now has the power to turn off the taps to British Columbia.
Alberta has passed legislation giving the province’s energy minister the power to choke off gasoline shipments to B.C. if that province continues to throw up barriers to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
Bill 12 passed late Wednesday afternoon in the Alberta Legislature. David Swann, the Liberal for Calgary-Mountain View, was the only member of the legislature to vote against it.
Earlier Wednesday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley used her strongest language yet about her intentions for the law, stating she was prepared to use it on short notice, if required.
“Albertans, British Columbians and all Canadians should understand that if the path forward for the pipeline through B.C. is not settled soon, I am ready and prepared to turn off the taps,” she told CBC News.
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Vancouver drivers are currently paying about $1.57 per litre for gasoline, and blocking shipments could push prices even higher, putting political pressure on B.C. Premier John Horgan.
Asked when she planned to take action, Notley declined to reveal details.
“With the greatest of respect, I’m not going to spell out the exact schedule and the exact steps,” she said.
In response, B.C. Attorney General David Eby sent a letter to Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley urging the government to hold off proclaiming Bill 12 until a judge can determine its constitutionality.
“In the absence of such a commitment, I intend to instruct counsel to bring an action challenging its constitutional validity in the courts of Alberta,” wrote Eby.