REGINA — The Saskatchewan government has introduced legislation that would allow the province to control its oil and gas exports, similar to a bill recently tabled in Alberta.
Once passed, the law would establish a permitting process for people or corporations looking to export energy products outside the province.
The proposal does not mention British Columbia specifically, but Saskatchewan has said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline.
The expansion of the pipeline to the West Coast has been approved by the federal government, but B.C. is fighting it in the courts.
Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre says the federal government must ensure its constitutional authority is respected and the Trans Mountain pipeline is built.
“Our government will always stand up for Saskatchewan and defend the people and businesses that rely on our oil and gas industry,” Eyre said in a release Monday.
“Increasing pipeline access to tidewater would inject billions of dollars into Canada’s economy. We are in this gridlock today because, in the 18 months since the federal government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline, it has failed to ensure that construction could proceed.”
Eyre says the bill is a last resort and will only be used if the pipeline continues to be stalled.
“The expansion of our national pipeline capacity is vital to the future of our energy sector and to thousands of Canadian jobs,” she said. “It must not be obstructed, either by a lack of federal leadership or by a provincial government that does not have the legal authority to impede a federally approved project.”
Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press