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Alberta politicians respond to possible oilsands lawsuit

Last Updated Feb 1, 2019 at 9:10 am PDT

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to cabinet members in Edmonton on Monday December 3, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Politicians over the Rockies are lashing out after hearing the City of Victoria is considering being part of a possible class action lawsuit against Alberta oilsands.

The lawsuit would involve a handful of B.C. municipalities who said climate change could cost cities and towns millions of dollars a year.

In Victoria, they estimated the effects of rising sea levels and extreme weather changes could cost the city over $415,000 a day.

The move has already received criticism from city and provincial politicians including Alberta Premier Rachel Notley who called the idea of such a lawsuit “hypocritical” and “astounding.”

“While Victoria is pumping over 100 million litres of raw sewage into the ocean every day, the hardworking people of our energy sector are reducing emissions, investing in clean technology and powering our great country,” read her statement. “We will defend our workers every day, especially against grandstanding lawsuits.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he’s not interested in having the “look in your own backyard” debate but rather noted that education in the oilsands is key.

“What I am interested in is just helping everyone in Canada understand that we here in Alberta are not just a bunch of F-350 driving cavemen, that we believe strongly in the environment and we believe strongly in the economy and we believe in financial and environmental prosperity for all Canadians.”

Right now there’s no timeline as to when, if ever, the lawsuit will happen. Victoria City Council is asking the Union of BC Municipalities to look into the feasibility of it.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect the fact that there is currently no class action lawsuit