A Suncor plant is shown in the oilsands in Fort McMurray Alta, on Monday, June 13, 2017. The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that Alberta has the right to control the amount and destination of oil and other fuels flowing through its pipelines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

A Suncor plant is shown in the oilsands in Fort McMurray Alta, on Monday, June 13, 2017. The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that Alberta has the right to control the amount and destination of oil and other fuels flowing through its pipelines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Federal Appeal Court tosses B.C. injunction over Alberta’s turn-off-the-taps law

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in a statement the government is pleased with the court’s decision

The Federal Court of Appeal has set aside an injunction granted to British Columbia in its constitutional fight over Alberta’s so-called turn-off-the-taps legislation, saying the dispute is more theoretical than real.

A lower court suspended Alberta’s Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act in 2019 and granted B.C. a temporary injunction blocking the law until the courts could decide if it was valid.

Alberta brought in the law to give it control over the export of its crude at the height of a dispute between the two provinces over construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Alberta appealed the ruling, which a three-judge panel set aside in a decision released Tuesday that also ordered B.C. to pay Alberta’s court costs.

B.C. had argued in the Federal Court that the law would cause the province irreparable harm, but the higher court says granting B.C. the injunction is “premature” because Alberta hasn’t yet used the legislation.

The court says without regulations and a licensing scheme from Alberta, the court should not assess the constitutional validity of the law on the basis that it allows discrimination in the supply of fuels to B.C.

“Until Alberta imposes restrictions on exports through action taken pursuant to the act, a (constitutional) dispute has yet to arise and may not arise at all. Put otherwise, the dispute as it currently stands remains more theoretical than real,” the decision says.

The three judges relied on different reasons to reach the same conclusion in the decision.

Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in a statement that the government is pleased with the court’s decision.

“We remain committed to standing up for Alberta, including protecting the value of our natural resources.”

The Trans Mountain expansion will triple the amount of oil flowing from the Edmonton area to B.C.’s Lower Mainland and from there to markets overseas.

The Canadian Press

oil and gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht public works dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Hotel Zed Tofino. (Westerly file photo)
Two Tofino businesses up for building awards

14th annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read