Alberta Premier Rachel Notley opened her news conference Monday afternoon by doubling down on her stance that point five on B.C.’s proposed Environmental Management Act is illegal – which proposes there be regulatory restrictions put on the increase of diluted bitumen transportation.
“What British Columbians, Albertans and all Canadians need to understand is that under the Canadian Constitution B.C. has no authority to impose such a regulation,” Notley said.
“It’s unconstitutional and, of course, as I’ve said before, it is an attack on Alberta’s primary industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country that go with it – including tens of thousands of jobs in B.C.”
Notley said she responded to the threat by making the difficult decision to suspend talks on buying electricity and stopping B.C. wine imports to her province – but won’t take further retaliatory action as the federal government talks continue with British Columbia.
“Let me be clear. It’s in British Columbia’s power to put this issue to rest by acknowledging that it overstepped its authority by making this threat,” Notley said.
“They can drop point five, follow the law, and halt their campaign of harassment of the Trans Mountain pipeline. Or they can dig in their heels and pretend they are a separate country with power to make whatever laws they want, with no regard to the Constitution or the views and rights of other Canadians.”
Notley added her boycott of B.C. wine was done because it didn’t have much of an affect on Alberta businesses.
“The key principles that we are working with are to do the least amount of damage to the Alberta economy and to Albertans – and to the very people who are seeking to make their way out of the recession and into the recovery. That is our government’s primary purpose.”
She said they don’t want to escalate the situation, but if B.C. continues they will have no choice but to respond.
Notley also announced that Alberta is setting up a web tool for people to learn about why the Trans Mountain expansion is important to Canada, the national economy and Canada’s environmental process.
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