Rachel Notley and Jason Kenney find common ground, sort of … on dubious pipeline posturing

Mar 13 03:03 2018 Print This Article

David J. Climenhaga

I guess we can understand why Jason Kenney acts like Alberta has all the powers of a sovereign nation.

After all, the leader of the Opposition United Conservative Party was one of former prime minister Stephen Harper's chief henchmen in the Conservative government that ran the federation through the long decade the Alberta tail wagged the Canadian dog.

But what's Rachel Notley's excuse?

The New Democratic Party Premier of Alberta is a lawyer, and a smart one. She understands Canadian provinces don't have jurisdiction over interprovincial operations of "Canals, Telegraphs and other Works and Undertakings connecting the Province with any other …" Even if she didn't, the Alberta government's lawyers would tell her.

Any court would rule interprovincial pipelines in general and the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline in particular fall into this constitutional catchall for obvious reasons. That question was settled in London in 1867, before Alberta was even a province.

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