BC warns Alberta of legal action business leaders warn of lost investment

first_imgB.C.’s Attorney General warned Alberta could be in for another legal battle if proposed legislation introduced by Premier Rachel Notley causes gas prices to spike.The bill would give Alberta’s Energy Minister the power to restrict exports of oil, gasoline and natural gas; a move that analysts say would drive up gas prices in B.C., potentially by more than 25-per cent.It all comes as investor confidence continues to wane given all the uncertainty around the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.Attorney General David Eby said the province would launch immediate court action on constitutional grounds if it believes the new law punishes British Columbia.“Any concern that British Columbians have that a bill that preferentially punishes British Columbia from the Alberta perspective and tries to drive up gas prices would be unconstitutional, we would take action immediately to address that,” he explained.“We know, as I’m sure they know, the constitution forbids discrimination around energy between provinces, Section 92 sub A, sub 2, it’s in black and white, and if there’s anything in this legislation that even suggests the possibility of discrimination against British Columbians, we will take every step necessary to protect the interests of British Columbians because it will be completely illegal,” argued Eby.Meanwhile, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Perrin Beatty said all the delays and infighting are sending the wrong message to the international investment community.“Even if you spend hundreds of millions of dollars and go through the regulatory process to get a project approved, there’s still no guarantees the rule of law will be followed, so we need to clear that up,” he said.Beatty added Canada’s reputation hasn’t been damaged beyond repair but the longer it takes to fix the regulatory process the more damage will be done.last_img

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