B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. ready to fight back against Alberta fuel restrictions

‘No legal right,’ Environment Minister George Heyman says

The B.C. government is watching Alberta’s move to restrict shipments of fuel across its borders, and plans to fight any measure that would push up fuel prices that are already at record highs in the Lower Mainland.

“I’m not counting on Alberta taking extreme or unlawful actions, but if they do, we’re prepared to defend British Columbia’s interests with every legal means available,” Environment Minister George Heyman said Monday. “We believe they have no legal right to do so, and if they do that, we’ll examine exactly what legislation they bring in. If we believe it’s flawed legally, we’ll certainly take them to court.”

Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd introduced a bill in the legislature Monday to give it new authority to require licences from fuel shippers. It would apply to the export of natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels across Alberta borders.

RELATED: New Alberta law would allow fuel restrictions

Called the “Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act,” the legislation gives Alberta the ability to choose which shippers need a licence for petroleum products including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, whether by pipeline, rail or truck.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the action is a response to B.C.’s efforts to restrict diluted bitumen shipments in B.C. by opposing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

“This is about protecting the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Albertans and our ability to keep Canada working,” Notley said. “We did not start this fight, but let there be any doubt we will do whatever it takes to build this pipeline and get top dollar in return for the oil and gas products that are owned by all Albertans.”

RELATED: Pipeline protesters to face criminal contempt charges

In the B.C. legislature Tuesday, opposition MLAs pressed Premier John Horgan on his Sunday meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa. Horgan said he used the meeting to press the federal government to “close the gaps” in coastal oil spill protection.

In Ottawa, Conservative MPs demanded and got approval for an emergency debate on the Trans Mountain project Monday night.

The flurry of political activity began when Kinder Morgan, the owner of the 60-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline, announced April 8 that it was suspending all non-essential spending on the project. The company gave a deadline of May 31 for governments to clear the way for the twinning of the pipeline, which Trudeau and Notley have pledged to see completed.

– with a file from the Canadian Press

Just Posted

Cuteness overload: duckling thinks dog is its mom

Photographer Fiona Hook shot a cute video after noticing one of her ducklings had taken a special liking to her dog.

Fire near Vernon airport “not a concern”

Vernon firefighters attended the scene and found a resident performing a controlled burn

Keep an eye on this up-and-coming Vernon director

15-year-old Bowen O’Brien celebrates filmmaking successes.

Visiting author gets personal

Keri Lefave will be reading from her book, Unfinished, at the Vernon Public Library on Saturday, April 27th at 11 a.m.

Vernon poet launches new book

Kerry Gilbert’s new work, a cautionary tale through the guise of little red riding hood, will launch at the Caetani Cultural Centre’s Studio Gallery April 26 at 7 p.m.

Update: Fire destroys Peachland home on Somerset Avenue

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

Sons of Anarchy’s Kim Coates stops by Okanagan café

Coates was spotted in West Bank’s Kekuli Café on April 20

B.C. women make 2,200 cabbage rolls for charity

The money raised was donated to former NHL player Aaron Volpatti, who is raising funds for ALS

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read