Court rejects B.C.’s request to declare Alberta oil export law as unconstitutional
A judge has dismissed the British Columbia government’s request to declare unconstitutional an Alberta law that could restrict the flow of refined oil products to B.C.
The attorney general of B.C. alleged in a statement of claim that the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act was meant to counteract steps taken by B.C. in its opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline project.
B.C. had asked Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench to declare the law unconstitutional, but according to Canadian Press, Justice R.J. Hall wrote in a decision issued Friday that since the law was never officially proclaimed, the request to strike it is premature.
The Act was passed by the Alberta legislature last May and allows limits on fuel exports to B.C.
Plans to triple capacity along the existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby have pitted Alberta and the federal government against B.C.’s government, which says the risk of a spill is too great for the province’s environment and economy.
Hall wrote that should the Alberta Government proclaim the Act into force, B.C.’s attorney general may file again.
“Without giving my opinion here, as to the propriety of an injunction application before proclamation of a statute, I am of the view that a claim seeking a declaration as to constitutionality of an Act that has not yet been proclaimed, is premature,” Hall wrote. “For the court to consider such a claim, the Act must first be in force.”
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