Alberta is looking at all strategies in the province’s fight with B.C. over the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
“There are no options that we’re ruling out,” Premier Rachel Notley told reporters Monday.
"We don't want a trade war," says @RachelNotley on the wine ban that stems from @jjhorgan's proposed bitumen regulations but notes that "there are no options that we're ruling out." #bcpoli #abpoli @BlackPressMedia
— Kat Slepian (@katslepian) February 12, 2018
Notley has already stopped imports of B.C. wine and suspended talks on buying B.C. electricity – all since the interprovincial trade war began last week.
On Feb. 6, Notley announced her government’s decision to ban imports of B.C. wine after Premier John Horgan’s proposed new restrictions on transporting crude oil at the end of January.
The restrictions, which are part of B.C.’s oil spill response plan, could heavily impact Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
The proposal would look at increasing restrictions on diluted bitumen transportation by pipeline or rail until the “behaviour” of spilled bitumen can be better understood and a response plan can be made.
Notley has accused Horgan’s government of making a “provocative and unconstitutional” threat.
“Under the Canadian constitution, B.C. has no authority to impose such a regulation,” she said.
“It’s unconstitutional and it is an attack on Alberta’s primary industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country that go with it.”
Notley declined to provide further details on her government’s next steps.
“We don’t want to do anything that causes more harm to the Alberta economy than it does to the B.C. economy.”
She said that she would give B.C. “a little bit of space” to continue talks with the federal government.
Ottawa approved the Trans Mountain pipeline in 2016.
“For the time being, we’re prepared to give them a little bit of time to talk. We’re talking days, not much more than that,” said Notley.
“The federal government gets the ridiculousness of [B.C.’s proposal] as much as we do but sitting back and letting B.C. threaten [the expansion] and not doing anything to tell them to pull back the threat… they’ve got to stop talking about their ability to do something illegal.”
Notley said that her government will launch a series of “online tools” Tuesday that will allow Albertans and Canadians across the country voice their displeasure with B.C.’s actions.
Horgan has said that B.C. won’t retaliate by banning any Alberta products.
BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver called on Horgan to launch a ‘buy local’ B.C. wine campaign.