EDMONTON — The provincial government is introducing legislation to turn off the taps and restrict the flow of oil and gas across its borders.
The government tabled the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act in the legislature on Monday.
If passed, it will give the province the authority to require any company exporting energy products from Alberta to require a license. Export restrictions could also be imposed on pipelines, as well as transport via truck or rail.
Premier Rachel Notley, speaking at a press conference before introducing the bill, says it sends "a clear message."
“We will use every tool at our disposal to defend Albertans, to defend our resources, and to defend the vital public services that working families rely on," Notley said. “This bill will give Albertans greater control of their resources and ensure that our energy sector is able to provide Canada the maximum economic benefit of those resources.”
The legislation comes as a result of the ongoing dispute between Alberta and British Columbia over the expansion to the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The pipeline has been approved by the federal government, but B.C. Premier John Horgan is fighting the expansion in court over environmental concerns.
“This project is in the national interest, and it must get built in the national interest,” Notley said during a press conference on Monday. “Like Albertans, and Canadians everywhere, we stand united in support of our energy industry and the working women and men it employs.”
Under the proposed legislation, Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd would issue licenses if it is determined to be in the public interest, including whether adequate pipeline capacity exists to maximize the return on these resources produced in Alberta. Companies will not be automatically required to apply for an export license and will only be directed to do so if it’s deemed necessary.
“This legislation will be there if Alberta needs it,” said Notley. “I remain confident that we will not have to use it, but I’m also making sure that we are ready with every tool at our disposal.”
Companies who violate the terms of the license may be issued fines of up to $10 million per day, while individuals may be fined up to $1 million per day.
If passed, the law would come into effect upon proclamation.
Notley said during the press conference that she was confident the law would survive a legal challenge, citing Section 92 of the Constitution Act, which gives provinces the power to make laws regarding exports of its resources.
-With Files from The Canadian Press
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