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

If the police are only going to be able to supply a limited amount of security, other options need to be explored to keep residents protected. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Security requires creative solutions

Hiring a company or soliciting volunteers to do patrols among the ideas

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. (File photo)
North Cowichan considers extending deadline for property tax payments

A two-month deadline extension to Sept. 1 gets three readings

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

Letters to the Editor.
Speedy service by operations department

North Cowichan responds to deplorable conditions at Askew Creek Park

The Yellow Sub Machine has been open for business for nearly two months. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Pandemic pivot leads to the creation of the Yellow Sub Machine for gourmet sub grub

Former Odika owners stake their claim in the food truck business

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks 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

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read