Sask. Attorney General applying to participate in B.C. pipeline case
A pipeline is pictured at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project in Burnaby, B.C., on June 4, 2015. (Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Saskatchewan’s Justice Minister and Attorney General, Don Morgan, is applying to participate in the Trans Mountain reference case currently before British Columbia’s Court of Appeal.
The case is looking at the constitutionality of B.C.’s proposed amendments to the Environmental Management Act.
On April 26, the B.C. government announced plans to look into legislative amendments to allow it to control the flow of heavy oils through the province. The government said it wanted to amendments to protect human health, the environment and communities.
The reference question presented to the B.C. Court of Appeal asked if the province could protect itself from the threat of a diluted bitumen spill as the province tries to block the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
“We are dismayed that a pipeline that will benefit many people across Canada continues to be held up by unreasonable delays,” Saskatchewan Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said in a written release. “As we argued in the previous case involving the city of Burnaby, it is Saskatchewan’s position that these pipelines are in the national interest and fall under federal, not provincial jurisdiction.”
Last year, the City of Burnaby lost a bylaw battle against the Trans Mountain pipeline. In November, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that National Energy Board rules take precedence over the city’s bylaws. Saskatchewan also participated in that case. The National Energy Board sided with Kinder Morgan and the Saskatchewan government, allowing the company to begin construction on the expansion right away.
“Saskatchewan remains dedicated to standing up for the hard-working people in our natural resources and energy sectors,” Morgan said. “We know that these pipelines are necessary for our energy companies to get their products to tidewater to ensure a competitive price, and that the increased capacity this pipeline represents stands to benefit all Canadians.”
The pipeline expansion was approved in 2016 by the federal government.
With files from The Canadian Press