VANCOUVER – The B.C. Court of Appeal says the province cannot restrict oil shipments through its borders, in a decision that marks a win for the future of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
#BREAKING Unconstitutional: In a unanimous decision by the B.C. Court of Appeal, a panel of judges has ruled B.C. cannot move ahead with a law to allow it to control the flow of heavy oil moving through its borders. #cdnpoli #bcpoli
— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) May 24, 2019
The province filed a constitutional reference question to the court that asked whether it had the authority to create a permitting regime for companies that wished to increase their flow of diluted bitumen.
A five-judge Appeal Court panel agreed unanimously that B.C.’s proposed legislation was not constitutional because it interferes with the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines.
The news is welcome to Alberta politicians who fought this proposed law when it was introduced.
“When the B.C. government threatened to block our oil, we used the wine ban to force them to court,” said NDP leader Rachel Notley. “We worked hard to talk directly to British Columbians about the importance of Canada’s energy industry and today, the majority are in support of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The case for the pipeline just got stronger and investor certainty in Alberta along with it. Turns out BC’s toolbox was more Fisher Price than DeWalt.”
Premier Jason Kenney also responded, calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to push the pipeline project forward
It's official: Courts have unanimously ruled that B.C. has no authority to ban Alberta oil in a pipeline.@JustinTrudeau, it's time for you to do the right thing. Stand up for Alberta and all of Canada and build #TMX, now. pic.twitter.com/uhePPNx0qd
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) May 24, 2019