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Alberta premier threatens to broaden pipeline dispute with BC

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley makes an annnouncement at the legislature in Edmonton, on Thursday, February 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dean Bennett

Alberta's Premier is threatening to broaden her province's pipeline dispute with BC by reducing oil shipments

Notley says it's time to focus the country's attention on lost jobs and reduced revenue due to a pipeline bottleneck

EDMONTON (NEWS 1130) – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is threatening to expand a fight with BC over the Trans Mountain pipeline by reducing the amount of oil her province ships.

Notley won’t say if she would cut off BC or the rest of Canada — or both.

“Our key focus is getting people’s attention on the matter,” Notley says. “We’re not interested in creating any kind of crisis, in any way, shape, or form. We’re going to be measured, we’re going to be careful.”

She says it’s time to focus the country’s attention on lost jobs and reduced revenue due to a pipeline bottleneck. “So we will not let one province overturn a decision that is so important to our province, and our country by playing games. We will act to defend our workers, our economy, and our progress on climate action.”

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Notley says if she sees more moves to delay construction, her government will pass legislation to give her the power to reduce the flow of oil and natural gas. “If their efforts are to in fact harass investors, launch frivolous lawsuits, or wage a war of attrition against the pipeline, Alberta must have the ability to respond. As such, as said in the Throne Speech, we will not hesitate to invoke similar legislation as premier Lougheed did if such a thing becomes necessary.”

In 1980, former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed cut oil exports in his fight with Ottawa over price controls and revenue sharing under the national energy program.

The pipeline dispute began earlier this year when BC said it would not allow increased oil shipments until it could do more research on spill response.