The province has submitted a reference question to the B.C. Court of Appeal to confirm its right to protect B.C. from the threat of a diluted bitumen spill.
Attorney General David Eby explains what the province wants to do…..
Eby says the court needs to confirm the province has the authority to require permits for the movement of interprovincial hazardous substances.
The federal government continues to insist all the protections are in place for an oil spill but Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is now floating the idea of a joint Ottawa-B.C. panel of scientists to enhance existing research on oil spills.
B.C.’s Minister of Environment, George Heyman says that’s an admittance that there are gaps in the knowledge when it comes to oil spills and those gaps need to be addressed.
The authority of the province ends once the product goes into the oil tankers sitting in the ocean because that puts it in the federal government’s jurisdiction, however, the province maintains, if there is a spill it will affect our coastline and we need better protections for that too.
Provincial officials don’t know what the timeline for the reference case might be but doubt it will be done by the end of next month.
Kinder Morgan has set a May 31st deadline to keep the pipeline project alive.