Premier Jason Kenney issued the following statement on the B.C. Court of Appeal ruling on shipments of heavy oil through British Columbia:
“British Columbia’s highest court has spoken, unanimously, and the time for obstruction of the TMX pipeline is now over. I look forward to working with B.C. and the federal government to realize the enormous benefits of this project, which is supported by clear majorities in both our provinces and across Canada.
“B.C. Premier John Horgan has said many times that this reference and the other legal challenges to the pipeline are ‘about the rule of law.’ We agree, and in light of the court’s decision, we hope that the B.C. government will respect the rule of law and end its campaign of obstruction.
“The TMX pipeline would be a win-win for both B.C. and Alberta. It will allow Alberta to realize a fair price for our natural resources and create new jobs, and it could provide much-needed relief at the pump for British Columbians. That is why this court decision is an occasion for real hope for the hard-working people of both provinces.
“Contrary to B.C.’s position, this case was never about whether the TMX pipeline would be regulated to ensure that the project meets the highest possible levels of environmental protection. As the B.C. Court of Appeal explained, ‘[t]his reference is not about whether the planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (“TMX”) should be regulated to minimize the risks it poses to the environment — that is a given. Rather, this reference asks which level or levels of government may do so under our constitution.’ The court concluded that the federal government’s rigorous approval process was the appropriate process and that B.C.’s proposed law would unconstitutionally interfere with that federal jurisdiction.
“The court was clear that B.C.’s proposed law ‘is intended, and (more importantly) its sole effect is, to set conditions for, and if necessary prohibit’ the flow of Canadian oil – i.e. Alberta oil – via the TMX pipeline or by rail. Specifically, the court held that B.C.’s proposed law is ‘an immediate and existential threat to a federal undertaking that is being expanded specifically to increase the amount of oil transported through British Columbia’ and is therefore outside the province’s jurisdiction.”