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B.C. is taking legal action against Alberta

British Columbia has responded to Alberta’s recent Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act.

Attorney General David Eby announced today that B.C. has filed a statement of claim in Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

The Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act was announced by Alberta last week, and gave the province the power to cut off the oil supply to B.C.

<who>Photo Credit: Government of B.C.

“The Act purports to empower the Alberta Minister of Energy to require inter-provincial exporters of crude oil, natural gas and refined fuels to obtain licenses,” reads the lawsuit.

“The terms of those licenses may restrict or otherwise interfere with or impose cost burdens on the supply of those products to British Columbia.”

During today's conference call, Eby said that the Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act was illegal in two ways.

It's illegal under Section 92A of the constitution, which says that governments are not allowed to make a move like this with respect to refined fuels.

It's also illegal to use trade policy to punish other provinces, under Section 121 of the constitution.

The lawsuit goes on to accuse the Government of Alberta for introducing and supporting the act “because it asserts British Columbia is responsible for ‘delays’ to an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.”

A timeline of the dispute between B.C. and Alberta is also laid out in the lawsuit, starting with the Government of B.C.’s Jan. 30, 2018 decision to consult on proposed legislation to improve preparedness response and recovery from potential oil spills.

It includes details on Alberta’s decision to stop importing B.C. wines, which was challenged and dropped shortly after.

The defendant in this case, the Attorney General of Alberta, now has 20 days to respond to this lawsuit with a statement of defence or a demand for notice.

Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan can continue to proceed with their project as this lawsuit doesn't impede them in any way.

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