United Conservative leader Jason Kenney campaigns in the Alberta election to be held April 16. (Black Press)

B.C. prepared if Alberta shuts off fuel supplies, David Eby says

If B.C. continues pipeline battle, ‘we’ll finish it,’ Alberta’s Jason Kenney vows

B.C. Premier John Horgan enraged his Alberta NDP counterpart Rachel Notley by trying to stop construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, but her rival Jason Kenney says he’ll really ‘turn off the taps’ to B.C. as soon as he’s elected.

That would aggravate B.C.’s gasoline and diesel shortage, driving up prices at the pump that are already the highest in North America.

Responding Tuesday, B.C. Attorney General David Eby called Kenney’s proposed action “rash and legally unconstitutional” and said he would seek an immediate injunction if it happened.

When the B.C. NDP government announced it was going to court in an effort to restrict Alberta oil sands crude transport across the province, Notley responded last year by banning B.C. wine, cutting off talks with B.C. Hydro on electricity purchases, and preparing legislation to shut off fuel shipments to B.C.

READ MORE: Alberta drops wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’

READ MORE: Alberta buying its own rail cars to move crude oil west

United Conservative leader Jason Kenney, the front-runner to take over as Alberta premier after the April 16 election, says blocking fuel to B.C. was his idea and he will deliver.

“We will make it clear to our partners in the federation, such as the B.C. government, that if they continue to obstruct our energy and violate the economic union of Canada guaranteed in the Constitution, we will use the ‘turn-off-the-taps’ legislation,” Kenney said during a campaign stop Monday.

“This is what I proposed nearly two years ago. The premier finally followed our advice after mocking the idea, but it’s clear she never really meant it. If B.C. is going to continue its trade war in Alberta, we’ll finish it.”

Eby challenged the NDP legislation after it was passed, arguing it is unconstitutional. His case was dismissed because Alberta had not proclaimed the law, meaning it is not yet active.

On Tuesday, Eby tried to cool the campaign rhetoric. He said if Kenney wins the election and follows through with his threat, the first step would be to seek an injunction to prevent the blocking of fuel shipments.

“British Columbians should be reassured that we are ready to go if necessary, but also that we hope we will be able to resolve this with Alberta without courts,” Eby said. “But if necessary we will go to court.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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