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article imageAlberta plans on imposing 'serious economic consequences' on B.C.

By Karen Graham     Apr 9, 2018 in World
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says British Columbia’s opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion threatens the rule of law in Canada and says she made it clear in a phone call to B.C. Premier John Horgan that her province is retaliating.
The Alberta Legislature was all abuzz on Monday, with discussion centered on Kinder-Morgan's announcement Sunday it was halting "all non-essential activities and related spending” on the expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.
Monday afternoon, Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd proposed a motion to the legislature "urging the British Columbia government to cease its attempts to harass the Kinder Morgan project and demand action by Ottawa," according to the Edmonton Journal.
United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney instead proposed an emergency debate take place over Sunday’s move by Kinder Morgan to halt work and spending on the pipeline, something that is already being debated all across the country since yesterday. “I can’t think of a matter that’s more urgently in the public interest,” Kenney said.
New Democrat house leader Brain Mason urged everyone to consider McCuaig-Boyd’s motion rather than debate the issue even more because a vote today would mean tangible action. Speaker Robert Wanner ruled that a debate can take place.
Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet.  — She is the 17th and current Premier of Alberta  since 20...
Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet. — She is the 17th and current Premier of Alberta, since 2015 — and leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party.
Constitutional crisis not far off
The motion came after Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's morning comments on Kinder-Morgan's Sunday announcement. Notley noted that British Columbia's efforts to halt the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion aren’t “too far off” from a constitutional crisis.
“If the national interest is given over to the extremes on the left or the right, if the voices of the moderate majority of Canadians are forgotten, the reverberations of that will tear at the fabric of Confederation for many, many years to come. We’re not going to let that happen,” Notley said.
Notley said she made this very clear in a "very frank chat" with B.C. Premier John Horgan by telephone Sunday, adding she told him Alberta is retaliating. Notley also said her government will be introducing legislation to turn off the taps to B.C. in the coming days, giving Alberta the power to impose serious economic consequences on B.C.
Government response to Kinder-Morgan announcement
In addressing the possibility of a federal investment in the Trans Mountain pipeline, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said it was one of the many possibilities the Liberal government was considering in order to get the project completed, according to CTV News Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Lars Hagberg, AFP/File
There are other possible options, including legal and regulatory maneuvers, said Carr. "We're looking at all available options," Carr said, without getting into specifics. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dodged questions on federal investment in the pipeline at a news conference in Montreal - saying only there is a "broad range of options" for Ottawa to consider.
Trudeau also had a telephone conversation with Premier John Horgan Sunday night. He said he doesn't think Horgan should be intervening in an area of federal jurisdiction. The federal government has jurisdiction on infrastructure that crosses over provincial borders, including highways and pipelines.
"I impressed upon him the importance of working together and respecting the federal responsibility for protecting things that are in the national interest," Trudeau said. "This is a pipeline in the national interest and it will get built."
With all that has gone on, it should be noted that Trudeau has alienated himself from environmentalists over his stance on the pipeline issue. Brian Lee Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa, says federal Liberals have been backed against a brick wall by backing the pipeline, and they may end up with nothing.
Crowley cites Trudeau's promise that he would introduce environmental protections and climate change policies like the carbon tax in order to get buy-in to build pipelines, adding that so far, he has failed. "We have not yet brought together the winning conditions," said Crowley.
More about kindermorgan pipeline, Alberta, British columbia, economic consequences, Federal Government
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