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Notley says Alberta watching BC's court bid closely

Last Updated Feb 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm PDT

FILE - Premier John Horgan (April 24, 2017) (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Alberta's premier is unsure if BC seeking legal advice on a controversial pipeline has any legs

Notley mulls over re-introducing retaliatory actions as BC takes pipeline fight to the courts

EDMONTON, AB. (NEWS 1130) – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she doesn’t believe BC’s legal challenge to the Trans Mountain pipeline has merit and that her government will be watching it closely.

Notley says she’s not sure the BC courts will even entertain making a ruling on the clearly established constitutional rule that the federal government has the final say on what goes into trans-boundary pipelines.

But she adds if BC can’t find traction on that issue, it may try a different legal tack, and she says Alberta will be ready to respond.

Notley isn’t specifying the options being looked at, but on Thursday suggested there will be further retaliatory action if Alberta believes BC is trying to stall the Trans Mountain expansion.

“I do want to be very clear, if it becomes clear that this action is in fact a part of a deliberate strategy to harass the pipeline and its investors with frivolous or unconstitutional legal challenges, we will act immediately. And we will expect our federal partners to do the same. Canada can’t operate with a provincial government acting as though as though it is a separate country with the right to pass whatever laws it pleases to serve its short-term political interests,” said Notley on Thursday.

Alberta’s fight with BC began almost a month ago, when BC Premier John Horgan announced the province planned to suspend taking additional oil from Alberta until it was sure BC’s coastline and waterways were safe from catastrophic oil spills.

Notley and the federal government labelled the move unconstitutional.

Earlier this week, Horgan said the BC NDP government will ask the courts if it has the right to protect its environment by restricting diluted bitumen in the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline. In response to that, Notley halted all retaliatory actions against BC, including a ban on our wine.

The $7.4-billion project, approved in November 2016 by the federal government, would triple capacity on the 1,150 kilometre line, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby.