Do you believe Alberta premier Jason Kenney will 'turn off the taps'?

Do you believe Alberta premier Jason Kenney will 'turn off the taps'?

The new Alberta government has proclaimed into a law an act enabling it to restrict the flow of oil and gas to neighbouring British Columbia, raising the stakes in a spat between Canada's two westernmost provinces over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

When asked by reporters if he would bargain with the federal government, perhaps swapping B.C. approval for the Trans Mountain expansion for more gasoline coming down the existing pipeline, Horgan said he wouldn't negotiate in public. "One province claiming to have the power to block exports from the rest of Canada would undermine one of the principles of our Confederation, the economic union between our provinces", Kenney wrote.

Shortly after Kenney's comments, lawyers for B.C. filed legal paperwork signaling plans to fight Alberta's law on grounds that it's unconstitutional.

He urged Alberta to work with B.C. on this.

The bill was introduced by the NDP and was given royal assent past year but had not yet been proclaimed.

Kenney says the bill is a "flagrant violation" of Alberta's right to control its own natural resources and is threatening a constitutional challenge if the bill doesn't get major amendments.

The legislation, also known as the "turn off the taps" act, was introduced but not enacted by the previous New Democratic Party government a year ago in retaliation for British Columbia opposing the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

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"When it comes to the issues of issuing of permits for the TMX project, of the 1,182 permits required, British Columbia has issued 309, and we will continue to do so as the applications come forward", he said.

"This bill does not need a nip-and-tuck; it needs complete reconstructive surgery or to be put out of its misery", Kenney told senators of the committee on the final day it is holding hearings on its study of the bill. But he refused to take the blame for spiking prices at the pumps or to apologize for fighting Alberta's bid to "impair trade" between B.C. and Alberta by fighting its new "turn off the taps" law in court.

Horgan said he was "heartened" by Kenney's openness to meeting within the next month and continuing the conversation.

"British Columbians benefit from the Trans Mountain pipeline".

Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, accused the government of politicizing the project list by inserting the cap requirement.

"We will focus relentlessly on creating good jobs, growing the economy and building pipelines west, east and south to get our products to market and secure full value for our resources and future prosperity", Kenney said at the swearing-in ceremony in the provincial capital Edmonton.

University of Alberta political scientist Jared Wesley said the law is more of a political tool. "They look like they are standing up for Alberta's interest. a lot of this is posturing", he said. He stopped short of specifying what actions might prompt his government to pinch B.C.'s energy supply, however.

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