Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Research | By Derrick Holloway

BC, Alberta relations tense at Western Premiers Conference

BC, Alberta relations tense at Western Premiers Conference

"I'm very concerned that we are missing an opportunity here in this nation to advance our economic benefit here, not just in Saskatchewan, but in Western Canada and the nation of Canada", Moe said.

"They are still reserving the right to play legal rope-a-dope until the cows come home", Notley said. "They've made some decisions, and we're going to inflict pain on those economic decisions so they understand what they've done".

The NDP filed a reference case in at the B.C. Court of Appeal last month to determine if it has jurisdiction to regulate heavy oil shipments.

British Columbia is also suing Alberta for passing a law that will allow it to choke off the supply of fuel to B.C., which Ms. Notley says she is prepared to use.

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Alberta has declined to sign an official communique from the western premiers meeting in Yellowknife over the lack of support for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans. It also joined two other lawsuits launched by Indigenous groups opposed to the $7.4-billion pipeline project.

"The government of Alberta introduced and supported the Act because it asserts B.C.is responsible for "delays" to an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline", says the claim, filed this week in court in Alberta.

It's imperative that Kinder Morgan is able to "finish what it started" and build the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project, the president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Wednesday.

The line, which would twin an existing pipe and triple the amount of oil heading from Alberta to the coast, was approved by Ottawa in 2016, but has hit permit delays and legal challenges from Horgan's government. "We will not hesitate".

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Hoffman told reporters on Wednesday in Yellowknife she agrees with those initiatives, "but pharmacare doesn't grow on trees". "In order to protect and improve the things that matter to people, like pharmacare, we need a strong, functioning national economy".

"A significant disruption in the supply of gasoline, diesel, and crude oil from Alberta to British Columbia would cause British Columbia irreparable harm", the document asserts.

Notley says she is not attending the conference because her time is better spent making sure the pipeline project goes ahead, and that the government is close to some important decisions before a May 31 deadline set by pipeline owner Kinder Morgan.

At a closing news conference, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe agreed that free-trade issues were his priority at the Western Premiers' Conference. "If there is a path to move forward, the federal government should be the lead in the collaboration in attempting to find that path", he said.

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