Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said the Trudeau Liberals’ Anti-Pipelines Act is “essentially a re-writing of our constitution,” as the jurisdictional battle heads to the Supreme Court of Canada.
This week, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear from Alberta and Saskatchewan as the provinces argue that Ottawa’s Impact Assessment Act (Bill C-69), dubbed the “No More Pipelines Law,” is unconstitutional.
The feds’ Bill C-69 allows the Trudeau Liberals to step in and block provinces from proceeding with infrastructure projects in the name of climate change and social justice.
On Tuesday, Smith said Trudeau’s Bill C-69 “is essentially the re-writing of our constitution.”
“It is a devastating interjection into provincial jurisdiction and it essentially gives the federal government carte blanche to make decisions over all of our industrial projects and we can’t allow that to happen,” she added.
While Liberals have claimed that Bill C-69, passed by royal assent in 2019, merely creates a rigorous process by which environmental standards are upheld, it has provided the federal government with unprecedented powers to dictate and ultimately crush Alberta’s infrastructure projects in the oil and gas industry.
Last summer, the Alberta Court of Appeal determined that Bill C-69 was unconstitutional. All five Justices in that decision said climate change should be addressed, but four of them determined that Bill C-69 was a “breathtaking pre-emption of provincial authority” and that it stripped Albertans of their “birthright.”
Trudeau immediately appealed the decision, now leaving the jurisdictional battle up to the Supreme Court.
Smith said provincial jurisdiction exists because of geographical realities that exist in different parts of the country.
“We can’t have a federal government that stands in our way of us being able to approve new power infrastructure when we’ve already seen an experience of instability,” she said.
“It’s getting serious, now.”
On Tuesday, Alberta’s Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said he believes the Bill violates “the exclusive constitutional jurisdiction of provinces and territories to control the development of their natural resources.”