United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney says if he becomes premier there will be “serious consequences” for British Columbia if it blocks the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta’s Opposition leader threatens to limit flow of oil to B.C.

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney threatens to limit flow of oil to B.C., and put toll on natural gas

Jason Kenney, Alberta’s Opposition leader and candidate for premier, says his government would ensure “serious consequences” for British Columbia if it blocks the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Kenney said Monday he would be prepared to stop permits for the shipment of Alberta oil to B.C. through the existing Trans Mountain line, which pumps 300,000 barrels a day of oil, gasoline and other petroleum products to Metro Vancouver.

“If British Columbia is unwilling to help us export Canadian energy, then I would ask: Why should the NDP government benefit from shipments from Alberta?” he asked during a media availability in Vancouver.

“People are already paying $1.50 a litre for their gas here. Thousands of British Columbia drivers are going down to Bellingham and Washington state to fill up their gas tanks. That situation, unfortunately, would get a whole lot worse without Alberta oil.”

Related: Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

The United Conservative Party leader acknowledged that some oil companies in Alberta oppose the idea, but he said the province has to use the tools at its disposal to pressure B.C. Premier John Horgan’s NDP government to “come to its senses.”

“I don’t suggest this as a beginning measure. This would be a last resort,” he said in an interview later Monday.

Asked about the economic impacts to his province of turning off the taps to B.C., Kenney said he wasn’t necessarily talking about a permanent measure. He added he’s optimistic the Keystone XL pipeline will be built and provide a new outlet for Alberta oil.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced his approval of the TransCanada Corp. project last year.

Kenney also said he would consider slapping a toll on B.C.’s natural gas shipments through Alberta.

He said some Calgary-based companies that develop natural gas would not be happy with a toll, but added the job of an Alberta premier is to defend the province’s economic future.

“I don’t want a trade war. Albertans want free trade. But if the NDP in Victoria breaks the law, and blocks the export of our major product, we have to respond,” he said.

He compared his stance to that of former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, who in the early 1980s cut his province’s oil production to punish Eastern Canada over the federal government’s unpopular National Energy Program.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley banned B.C. wines in response to the province’s proposal to limit diluted bitumen shipments. But she lifted the ban after Horgan said he would ask the courts to decide whether it can bring in the restrictions.

Related: Alberta to fight Burnaby’s appeal of NEB Trans Mountain approval: Notley

Kenney said his party stands a good chance of forming a government in an election next year.

“My message to John Horgan is: I may very well be sitting across the table from you in 14 months. And if you’re unable to come to an understanding with your fellow New Democrat Rachel Notley, just wait until you’re sitting across the table from me.”

Kenney also clarified his stance on supervised drug consumption sites, saying he respects the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision that governments are obligated to license such facilities.

He said he’s not oppose to licensing facilities that “try to reduce harm,” but there needs to be more consultation with local communities and greater emphasis on stopping the drugs from entering Canada.

“My concern is that the focus has become almost single-mindedly on harm reduction, which I do not think is an adequate solution to the problem,” he said.

In Edmonton, Notley met Monday with the members of her task force charged with coming up with strategies should B.C. or another jurisdiction take illegal or unwarranted actions against the oil industry.

Notley reiterated Alberta is keeping a close eye on Horgan’s government and won’t hesitate to bring back the wine boycott or take other more punitive measures if B.C. “starts playing more games.”

Alberta officials will head to Ottawa this week to work with their federal counterparts on ways to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion moving, she said. The province will also intervene in Burnaby’s appeal of a National Energy Board ruling on permits.

She said if B.C. gets court approval to dictate what goes into pipelines, “B.C. would trigger an internal Canadian trade war that would make what’s going on with the United States today look like a tea party.”

— With files from Dean Bennett in Edmonton.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Yettis marching towards playoff spot

The team is currently in second place in the league

WATCH: Sylvan Lake celebrates 1913 Days

Many lined the streets and participated in the many events around 1913 Days

Central Alberta Buccaneers pillage Vandals 64-19

Bucs’ notch second win of the season convincingly

Central Alberta Humane Society presents cat yoga

Proceeds will be used to care for the shelter animals

Exciting singing opportunities await with Choirs Red Deer

A new opportunity for those who love to sing will soon be available in Red Deer

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

National sports organizations have to report allegations of abuse immediately

Sporting organizations will lose federal funding if abuse goes unreported, says Kirsty Duncan

Former Somali child refugee fights to stay in Canada

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi’s judicial review set for today in Halifax

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

AFN chief accused of being too close to Trudeau

Perry Bellegarde insists he is not that close to the Liberals as elections looms

Three injured after industrial explosion in Newfoundland

The roof of the warehouse was blown off in the explosion near St. John’s

Ottawa Senators trade Mike Hoffman, less than a week after allegations involving partner

Following the trade Senators make no mention of allegations against Hoffman’s partner

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Most Read