A aerial view of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain marine terminal filling a oil tanker in Burnaby, B.C., is shown on Tuesday, May 29, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

A Calgary judge has denied British Columbia’s attempt to block Alberta legislation that would allow that province to stop oil shipments to the coast.

In a decision released Friday on the so-called Turn Off the Taps bill, Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Hall said that B.C. doesn’t have the right to take Alberta to court in Alberta over legislation passed by the Alberta legislature.

“The only parties with standing to bring this action in this court are the (Attorney General of Alberta) and the (Attorney General of Canada),” Hall wrote in his decision.

Hall said neither province could find a single previous example of such a case going ahead.

“Neither party could direct me to any cases in which one province has sued another province seeking a declaration of constitutional invalidity of legislation enacted by the defendant province.”

Hall said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court, which was specifically created to adjudicate between governments.

“Federal court is the proper forum for this interprovincial dispute.”

An emailed statement from the B.C. Ministry of Attorney General on Friday said the province is reviewing Hall’s decision. The email said B.C. has already filed a similar case in Federal Court, although that body hasn’t said yet whether it will accept it.

“The Province has been clear that we will defend the interests of British Columbians,” the statement said. “We … look forward to the day that this legislation, which is unconstitutional and designed to punish people in B.C., is heard in court.”

A statement released Friday night on behalf of Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said the province was “pleased” with the court ruling.

“We will continue to defend Alberta jobs and economic opportunity and look forward to making our case in Federal Court,” the statement said.

The legal battle is part of the fallout over the TransMountain pipeline expansion.

In response to B.C.’s legal measures against the pipeline, Alberta passed legislation that would allow it to shut off oil shipments to the coast.

B.C. had asked the Alberta court to both declare the law unconstitutional and grant an injunction preventing its implementation.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain bid could be ready next week, Indigenous group says

The TransMountain expansion, first approved in 2016, would triple the amount of oil flowing from the oilsands to B.C.’s Lower Mainland and from there to lucrative new markets across the Pacific.

The federal government bought the existing pipeline last year for $4.5 billion after its original builder, Texas-based Kinder Morgan, threatened to walk away from the project because of B.C.’s resistance.

The Federal Court of Appeal quashed the approval months later on the grounds that there hadn’t been enough consultation with First Nations or consideration of the pipeline’s potential impact on marine wildlife.

The project has been approved for a second time by the federal cabinet.

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

Homeless shelter at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre creates 40 jobs

The arena can house 45 people in pop-up pods

Bears spotted near Saanich lake spooked by police, wandered off

Bear, cub not seen over weekend but police ask residents to be on alert

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Bike lane closed, traffic impacted by landscaping in Metchosin

Construction begins May 25, to be complete by mid-July

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

Case of missing Vancouver Island woman inspires new true crime podcast

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of Nanaimo’s Lisa Marie Young

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Most Read