B.C. files constitutional challenge of Alberta's fuel restriction law

Vaughn Palmer

Trudeau dispatched Morneau to negotiate a deal with Kinder Morgan in mid-April, a week after the company halted all non-essential spending on the $7.4-billion pipeline pending reassurances from Ottawa that opposition to the project was not going to prevent it from being completed.

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman will be attending the conference on Notley's behalf.

The lawsuit comes a day after Notley abruptly cancelled her attendance at western premiers' meetings in Yellowknife over what she called B.C.'s attempt to "choke" her province and Canada's "economic lifeblood".

The NDP government in B.C. came to power a year ago - supported by the Green Party - after an election campaign in which it committed to working against the pipeline expansion owing to environmental concerns.

Instead, Notley said she will meet with Kinder Morgan officials.

Notley said it might be worth going to the meeting to chastise Horgan if a decision on Trans Mountain were still a long way off, but the deadline is too soon now.

"It's not just about the spills, it's not just about the orcas", said Graham Clumpner one of the paddlers with the Mosquito Fleet: "The bigger issue that we are all facing is climate change", he said.

The first and most likely option: the federal government buys and builds the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Flash floods rush through Ellicott City, Maryland, trapping residents
As the flood waters receded late Sunday, officials were just beginning the grim task of assessing the destruction. Authorities say Ellicott City, on the west bank of Maryland's Patapsco River, is prone to periodic flooding.

The Alberta government has been putting pressure on BC for the past few months, instituting a boycott on BC wines, raising pro-pipeline billboards in BC, and, most recently, passing legislation that would cut off BC's supply of Alberta oil.

Court documents filed with Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench say B.C.'s Attorney General was bringing the action against Alberta's Attorney General on the "unconstitutionality of the Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act".

But Eby insisted there is "a big difference" between Alberta's oil shut-off law and his government's request for a B.C. judge to rule on the province's power to regulate oil imports on environmental grounds.

The move sems to have backfired and emboldened everyone fighting the pipeline.

Alberta sees the pipeline as key to moving bitumen from the province to the west coast and from there to lucrative overseas markets.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said last week that he wants to speak about the pipeline's benefits when he's at the conference.

The Trans Mountain expansion was given federal approval in late 2016.

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