Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has used her strongest language yet in rejecting the contention that British Columbia has the power to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Edmonton to an ocean port in Burnaby.
"We understand that some oppose the twinning of the pipeline, and I respect their opinion," Notley told a news conference. "But I fundamentally disagree with the view that one province or even one region can hold hostage the economy of another province. Or in this case, the economy of our entire country."
Notley held the news conference to announce that Alberta has been granted intervenor status in legal challenges to the controversial project.
The premier added there is no way for a province to block a decision made in the national interest by the federal government.
"If there were such tools, Canada would be less a country and more a combination of individual fiefdoms fighting with each other for advantage," she said.
Sixteen groups have asked the federal court to review approval of the project by the National Energy Board and the federal government. All applications will be heard in a single hearing in October.
Kinder Morgan intends to break ground on construction this fall.
'If someone were to propose that you move the Atlantic Opportunities Marketing Agency from Atlantic Canada to Winnipeg, people would say that's dumb.' - Premier Rachel Notley
But the result of the B.C. election has created uncertainty over whether this will happen.
The vote on May 9 left the Liberals with 43 seats. The NDP won 41 and the Greens took three. A party needs to win 44 seats to form a majority government.
Both the Green Party and the B.C. NDP oppose the Trans Mountain expansion.
The Green Party could hold the balance of power if the Liberals end up forming a minority government.
About 176,000 absentee ballots still need to be counted. That won't happen until at least May 22.
At the news conference, Notley was also asked about the report by an expert panel into the National Energy Board released Monday.
The five-person panel suggested the creation of two new agencies to replace the NEB. It also made the controversial recommendation that leadership be moved from Calgary to Ottawa.
Notley called a proposal to move the NEB out of Alberta "dumb."
"If someone were to propose that you move the Atlantic Opportunities Marketing Agency from Atlantic Canada to Winnipeg, people would say that's dumb," she said.
"Let me just say, moving the NEB to Eastern Canada is dumb. We are absolutely opposed to that and it shouldn't happen.'