​Alberta, Quebec intervening in B.C. appeal of oil transport ruling

Image: Government of Alberta

The governments of Alberta and Quebec have filed notices of intervention in B.C.’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding jurisdiction over oil transportation.

In May, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that the province does not have the authority to restrict shipments of diluted bitumen through its borders.

A five-judge panel agreed unanimously that the amendments to B.C.'s Environmental Management Act were not constitutional because they would interfere with the federal government's exclusive jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines.

The B.C. government filed its notice of appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada on June 14, 2019.

Premier John Horgan's minority NDP government took power in 2017 on a promise to use “every tool in the toolbox” to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

“The B.C. Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision was clear. B.C. does not have constitutional authority to block cross-provincial projects in the national interest,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement on Friday.

“Albertans have contributed massively to the federation through transfers that stem directly from the prosperity generated from Alberta’s responsible energy sector. It’s time that B.C. recognizes the clear and constitutionally sound jurisdiction of the federal government and ends its efforts to block Alberta’s resources from getting to market.”

Quebec has also filed a notice of intervention in B.C.'s appeal to the top court.

Quebec's justice minister, Sonia LeBel, says her province wants to protect and reaffirm its powers and clarify the legal framework governing environmental issues affecting its territory.

She says Quebec doesn't wish to interfere in the conflict between B.C., Alberta and the federal government or take a position on the Trans Mountain pipeline.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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