B.C. files lawsuit against Alberta government over Bill 12

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will not attend the Western Premiers’ Conference in Yellowknife this week

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley will not attend the Western Premiers’ Conference in Yellowknife this week

On Tuesday, BC Attorney General David Eby said the government is bringing the action based on the public interest of British Columbians and challenging the constitutionality of Alberta's bill - known as Bill 12: Preserving Canada's Economic Prosperity Act.

The company behind the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, Kinder Morgan, has stopped all non-essential spending on the expansion until it is assured the project can proceed without delay.

Notley sent her deputy premier to the meeting in her place.

Before he left for the meeting, Horgan said he didn't expect tensions over the pipeline to dominate discussions among the premiers.

The NDP government in B.C. came to power a year ago - supported by the Green Party - after an election campaign in which it committed to working against the pipeline expansion owing to environmental concerns.

"If we were a long way away from a decision point on the pipeline, I maybe would spend 45 minutes chastising John Horgan in front of other premiers, but quite honestly, right now we're very close to a very complex decision with a lot of different moving parts", she said.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will announce as early as Tuesday morning where the government plans to go with Kinder Morgan to ensure the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be built.

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Oates says that with 10 days remaining before the deadline, Notley's only priority is working with the federal government and Kinder Morgan to work on a deal.

"We need shovels in the ground", the advisory notes, which is why they'll be making the case for Team Trudeau to "step up and fulfill their constitutional roles and make this pipeline project a reality".

When the B.C. New Democrats challenged the Alberta government move to restrict crude oil exports to this province, they had to fill a gap in the enabling legislation for the threat.

Other western premiers have started to weigh in on the matter that's dividing Canada.

McMillan said if a pipeline that meets a high regulatory standard, has all the approvals, support from a majority of Canadians and the backing of the federal government can not get built, it sends a chilling signal that Canada is not open for business.

"We're not a one-issue province", Jen Holmwood said.

In a statement, the communications department for the Trans Mountain project said it would not comment on consultations around the project until they are terminated or reached a "sufficiently definitive agreement on or before May 31 that satisfies the objectives that we discussed and or as may otherwise be required by applicable laws or stock exchange rules".

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