Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has created a task force of Canadian experts who will suggest ways to respond to B.C.’s “unconstitutional attack” on the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The group includes former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, former Syncrude Canada president Jim Carter and legal scholar Peter Hogg.
“In response to British Columbia’s unconstitutional attack on our energy industry and the Canadian economy, Alberta is preparing retaliatory measures,” Notley said in a news release Friday.
“The new task force is made up of leaders with deep connections throughout the country and expertise on these matters. It will help ensure Alberta’s response gets Ottawa’s and B.C.’s attention.”
Notley previously called on the federal government to step up and assert its authority in situations of national interest.
“This is not a fight between Alberta and B.C. This is B.C. trying to usurp the authority of the federal government and undermine the basis of our Confederation,” the premier stressed.
“Ottawa needs to say clearly and unequivocally that B.C.’s actions won’t stand. Sadly, B.C. decided to pick this fight with the country.
“No one wants it and it could end tomorrow, but as long as B.C. continues, Alberta will fight for jobs in Alberta and speak up for a Canada that works.”
The trade dispute involves Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and the transport of bitumen from Alberta to the West Coast.
The $7.4-billion project is federally approved. But on Jan. 30, B.C. said it planned to ban increased shipments of diluted bitumen off its coast until the province can better understand the ability to mitigate spills.
Alberta was not impressed as this move would restrict its ability to get its oil to the world market. Notley said B.C.’s regulations were illegal and unconstitutional.
On Feb. 6, she announced that Alberta would be halting B.C. wine imports as a result of the dispute.
— With files from Global’s Katie Dangerfield
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