Newly minted Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is holding a news conference this morning about legislation that would allow the province to restrict oil and gas shipments to B.C.
Kenney will be joined by Energy Minister Sonya Savage to speak about Bill 12, the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, at the Edmonton Legislature.
CBC News will livestream the news conference, which is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. MST.
Bill 12 was proclaimed into law on Tuesday during the government’s first cabinet meeting, shortly after Kenney and his new United Conservative cabinet were sworn in.
The provisions in the legislation are meant to be used as leverage against B.C. if the province continues to stand in the way of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Kenney op-ed says he’ll defend Alberta interests
In an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun, Kenney said he won’t turn off the oil taps to B.C. yet, but he’s serious about defending Alberta’s economic interests.
If proclaimed, the bill would create a licensing scheme for oil and gas suppliers, giving Alberta’s energy minister the power to decide how much fuel is exported to B.C., how it’s transported and whether direct shipments should be stopped altogether.
“The impetus for the act is to alleviate the resource backlog that has been exacerbated by delaying TMX,” Kenney wrote.
“Unfortunately, since coming into office in July 2017, the B.C. government has opposed the expansion project every step of the way.”
Bill 12 gives the government authority to require companies to obtain a licence before exporting energy products from Alberta via pipeline, rail or truck and includes natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels, such as gasoline and diesel.
Act calls for millions in fines
According to the act, export licences would be required for every company only if the energy minister determines it’s in the public interest to ensure adequate pipeline capacity is available.
Anyone who fails to comply with the act could face fines up to $10 million per day for companies or $1 million per day for individuals.
The plan was introduced by the NDP and was given royal assent last year, but had not yet been proclaimed as law.
BC’s attorney general said his province is ready to resume its legal battle if the bill is enacted.
David Eby said his government has been concerned about the constitutionality of Alberta’s legislation since it was introduced by the NDP government.