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Alberta politicians rejoice over Court decision against the province's bitumen shipment restrictions

Last Updated May 25, 2019 at 6:02 am MST

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.

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