Kenney proclaims 'turn off the taps' bill as law

By Charles Lefebvre
May 1, 2019 - 12:00pm Updated: May 1, 2019 - 5:00pm

EDMONTON, AB — The Alberta government has officially proclaimed the so-called “turn off the taps” legislation.

The proclamation of Bill 12, the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act was announced by Premier Jason Kenney in an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday.

“Alberta is serious about sending a message to those who wage a campaign of obstruction against our vital resources,” Kenney said in a statement on Wednesday. “We want to work with other jurisdictions, like British Columbia, to find areas of common ground, but everybody should be aware that we will use every option available to defend Alberta, our economy, our resources and our people. While the proclamation does not constitute an immediate reduction of shipments, it shows we mean business when protecting Canada’s economic interests.”

The bill, passed by the previous NDP government in 2018 and given royal assent, would give the provincial government the ability to restrict its energy shipments. It was created following disputes between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

If used, the bill would require any company exporting petroleum products from Alberta to acquire a licence to do so. Failing to do so could lead to fines of up to $10 million per day.

While the bill has become law, Kenney has not yet activated enacted it.

“This is not a mechanism to punish others. It’s a tool to protect Alberta.” said Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy, in a statement. “Alberta’s prosperity fuels Canada’s prosperity. It’s in every province and territory’s interest that we get these products to market. Without proper access to world markets and prices, Canada continues to lose billions of dollars.”

British Columbia has said it is launching a constitutional challenge to the bill.

Kenney added the first session of the legislature will take place May 21, and a budget will come in the fall.

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