Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she doesn’t believe British Columbia’s legal challenge to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion has merit, but her government will be watching closely and won’t give its neighbour a free ride on it.

Notley said she’s not sure the B.C. courts will make a ruling on the clearly established constitutional rule that the federal government has the final say on what goes into trans-boundary pipelines.

She said if B.C. can’t find traction on that issue, dubbed ‘Point Five,’ it may try a different legal tack, and Alberta will be ready to respond.

“I think ultimately Point Five is dead because I’m not even sure that the B.C. Court of Appeal would even agree to render a decision,” Notley said in an interview Friday.

“The question (then) becomes ‘Do they (B.C. officials) come up with something else, though, to put to the B.C. Court of Appeal,’ and if that’s the case what alternatives do we have at our disposal?”

Notley isn’t specifying the options being looked at, but has suggested there would be further retaliatory action if Alberta believes B.C. is trying to stall the project through frivolous legal challenges or other means.

Her comments come a day after the first break in an escalating trade war over the pipeline, which has been approved by Ottawa and would triple the amount of crude flowing from Edmonton to a terminal in Burnaby.

On Thursday, Premier John Horgan announced his government was reversing its plan to suspend taking additional oil from Alberta until it was sure B.C.’s coastline and waterways were safe from catastrophic oil spills.

READ MORE: Cautious optimism on lifted wine ban at B.C. Wine Institute

READ MORE: Weaver calls for ‘immediate’ action to boost B.C. wine amid pipeline feud

Horgan said he would instead go to the courts to get a legal ruling on whether B.C. has a right to take such action under the Constitution.

In response, Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine. Alberta is B.C.’s biggest wine customer, about $70 million worth of business a year, and this week the B.C. Wine Institute said wine growers were being severely affected.

The federal government has maintained it has the right to dictate what goes in pipelines and has declined to join B.C. on the constitutional reference.

Notley defended the decision to end the wine ban despite some critics who say Horgan has not killed the issue, but simply moved the fight to a different battlefield.

She has said the wine ban is not rescinded but suspended.

READ MORE: Wine war puts Okanagan vintners in a tough position

“When we came forward with the ban … we made it very clear: ‘Pull Point Five and we will pull the ban.’ And that’s what happened,” she said.

“We’re not trying to escalate (the dispute). We’re trying to make a point and to de-escalate.”

Two weeks ago, Notley struck a task force of business, finance and academic leaders to respond to B.C.’s actions.

Notley said that task force will stay in place and will meet next week to continue to explore ways to get Alberta oil to tidewater and respond to similar future challenges.

Notley has called Trans Mountain a critical part of Alberta’s energy industry that brings spin off jobs across Canada.

Alberta crude sells at a discount, sometimes a sharp one, compared with the North American benchmark West Texas Intermediate price due to pipeline bottlenecks and a lack of access to overseas markets.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Helmet selfies and sober pledges: Changes coming after rough e-scooter rollout in Kelowna

A number of changes are coming to Kelowna’s e-scooter program, more could be on the way

(City of Kelowna/Contributed).
Site prep starts on Kelowna’s Pandosy Waterfront park

Construction for the urban beach area is set to start in September

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses a crowd of more than 100 people who gathered at Stuart Park on June 12 to honour the Muslim family who was attacked in London, Ont., on June 6. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
‘It’s gotta stop’: Kelowna mayor, local faith groups honour victims of London attack

Faith groups at the event included the Okanagan Jewish Community, the Baha’i community and the Sikh community

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Glen Lennon now resides in a neat and fully serviced unit in the Silver Crest Retirement Home, managed by Princeton and District Community Social Services. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Princeton RCMP and social workers find new home for elderly accident victim

“I love the sun and the sun shines on my patio here. I can go out and walk around.”

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Vernon Elks Lodge secretary-treasurer Maureen Sather says special relief funding for the organization courtesy of Community Futures North Okanagan has been just that: a relief. (Photo submitted)
Zero funding for Vernon Elks club

Once-in-100-years grant denied after back and forth with city for support

A young child was taken to hospital after being struck by a vehicle on 30th Avenue in Vernon Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Child OK after being hit by car in Vernon

Father says daughter was back home by supper time

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Most Read