Pipeline decision too close to chastise BC at western premiers meeting: Notley

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She and other Alberta ministers made similar statements when Bill 12 was introduced, debated and passed, leaving no doubt that "its objective was to authorize the government of Alberta to reduce supplies of crude oil, natural gas and refined fuels to cause economic harm to British Columbians in order to punish and put pressure on B.C".

The interprovincial spat between the two NDP premiers prompted Alberta to briefly cut off B.C. wine imports and threaten to turn off the oil taps.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will announce as early as Tuesday morning where the government plans to go with Kinder Morgan to ensure the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will be built.

On April 8, Kinder Morgan Limited (KML) suspended all non-essential activities and related spending on its $7.4 billion oil pipeline expansion project in the face of mounting legal challenges from British Columbia.

But in recent months, B.C. Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley have had public spats over the future of the pipeline, even throwing in trade threats at one point.

Eby said the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench challenges the constitutionality of Alberta's law because it is meant to punish B.C.

Horgan wasn't commenting Monday on Notley's decision to skip the conference.

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"While they are at the premiers meeting talking about how to spend that kind of money, I'll be here in Alberta talking about how we can earn that kind of money".

But there's ample indication of the New Democrats having darker designs on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

"I'm very concerned that we are missing an opportunity here in this nation to advance our economic benefit here, not just in Saskatchewan, but in Western Canada and the nation of Canada", Moe said. Alberta has 20 days to file a statement of defence.

His concerns largely stem from the limited science available on how diluted bitumen behaves if it is spilled and the risk that comes from increasing the amount of it being shipped on tankers out of Kinder Morgan's marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

Indeed, last week the US environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), warned Kinder Morgan that the pipeline project, could be "illegal" under the US Endangered Species Act, which is seen as one of the world's strongest species protection laws.

"It is not to stop the pipeline or prevent it", Eby argued.

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