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B.C. Court of Appeal will begin hearing oil-transport reference case today

Last Updated Mar 18, 2019 at 7:31 am PDT

A aerial view of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain marine terminal, in Burnaby, B.C., is shown on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward)

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s Court of Appeal will consider the question of provincial powers over the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project during a five-day hearing that starts Monday.

The B.C. government’s reference case asks the court if the province has jurisdiction to regulate the transport of oil through its territory and restrict bitumen shipments from Alberta.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say only Ottawa — not the provinces — has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines.

When B.C. filed the reference case last year, Alberta announced it would ban B.C. wines.

Notley’s government accused B.C. Premier John Horgan of trying to break the rules of Confederation.

The federal government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion last August.