Alberta ends B.C. wine boycott after B.C. premier announces court action on pipeline standoff

Alberta ends B.C. wine boycott after B.C. premier announces court action on pipeline standoff
From CBC - February 22, 2018

The two-week boycott of B.C. wine by the Alberta government is over.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, an hour after B.C. Premier John Horgan said his government would turn to the courts on the question of whether itcould implement a temporary ban on increased exports of bitumen from Alberta, the issue that sparked the disagreement.

"In a small way, B.C. blinked," said Notley.

"I am confident the courts will not give B.C. rights it does not possess under the constitution. In other words, I am confident the constitution will be upheld and we will see the last of these ridiculous threats."

Her remarks came after Horgantold reporters earlier Thursday he hoped pushing the matterto the courts would temporarily resolve the conflict.

"This is intended to have cooler heads prevail. We believe the rule of law is important in this country," said Horgan.

"The contentious point that was drawing the ire of the province of Alberta and some consternation from the federal government will be put to the courts. We want to make sure British Columbia asa government is focused on the issues that matter to them."

Temporary ban on increases

The contentious point was the fifth of five proposed regulations the B.C. government said could take place after consultations onoil spills.

Announced on Jan. 30, itraised the possibility of an interim ban on increased exports. Thatcreated more uncertainty for Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Trans Mountain pipeline expansionfrom Edmonton to Burnaby, where construction is underway on a second pipeline that wouldtransport590,000 more barrels of various petroleum projects every day.

Notleyimmediately claimed B.C. did not have the constitutional right to unilaterally impose caps on an interprovincial pipeline, but Horganinitially said therewas nothing untoward about his government's actions.

"There's nothing to take to court. We are in consultation with the people of B.C., and we are going to put in regulations if required to protect the public interest," Horgansaid on Feb. 1.

What comes next?


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