Economy

BC warns Alberta of legal action, business leaders warn of lost investment

BC warns Alberta of legal action, business leaders warn of lost investment

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, who has consistently opposed the pipeline, said plans for "investing in the project with taxpayer dollars to mitigate Kinder Morgan's risk" are "entirely unacceptable".

The existing Trans Mountain system is a major conduit for both crude oil and refined products heading to B.C. The pipeline can carry about 300,000 bpd, and the expansion at the heart of the inter-provincial dispute would almost triple that figure to 890,000 bbl. That was sort of a first cut at saying: "'We, too, are offended by the actions you're taking.' But now it's getting into that classic case of the inmates running the asylum", Wilson said.

Shippers that do not comply with the terms of a license could face fines of up to C$10 million/day, while individuals could face fines of up to C$1 million/day, it said.

The draconian impact of the legislation would fall entirely on B.C., just as promised during the past few weeks of sustained hostilities during the pipeline fight.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the legislation is not meant to punish B-C for its opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, but that it does send the message that Alberta is prepared to defend its resources. The pipeline has already been approved by the federal government.

On Monday, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said her government's measures are about "protecting the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Albertans and our ability to keep Canada working".

In Edmonton on Tuesday, Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd welcomed Saskatchewan's actions.

Recalling Alberta's bid to ban B.C. wine, he said: "I'm very certain, once we review the legislation ... we'll find again that they are violating legal rules with respect to restricting access, unless they choose to reduce access to Saskatchewan and Manitoba and Ontario, as well".

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In making decisions, the minister is to consider "whether adequate pipeline capacity exists to maximize the return on crude oil and diluted bitumen produced in Alberta", whether the province has enough reserves for its own needs, and "any other matters considered relevant by the Minister".

"We do ship some energy products to British Columbia but not a huge amount. This is not a conversation we want to be having", Moe said.

"We know, as I'm sure they know, that the constitution forbids discrimination around energy between provinces", Eby said.

It all comes as investor confidence continues to wane given all the uncertainty around the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney said he's glad the government appears to have followed the party's suggestion to "turn off the taps", to demonstrate real economic consequences.

Notley suggested May 31 will be key if the viability of the pipeline project is still in question.

"This project is in the national interest and it must get built", Notley said.

Ervin said cutting off light oil supplies through Trans Mountain would hurt Alberta-based Parkland Fuels Corp., which bought the 55,000-barrel-per-day Burnaby refinery previous year and has enjoyed good margins thanks to its access to low-priced Alberta feedstock. Coming one day after the three-way meeting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened with her and Premier John Horgan, it demonstrated what a flop that session was.


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