Edmonton

Alberta files constitutional challenge of federal environmental assessment process

The Alberta government has officially asked the province's Appeal Court whether Ottawa's new environmental assessment process for major construction projects such as pipelines is constitutional.

Federal legislation could kill what's left of Alberta's oil and gas sector, Kenney says

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaking to reporters after appearing before the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources in Ottawa in May. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The Alberta government has officially asked the province's Appeal Court whether Ottawa's new environmental assessment process for major construction projects like pipelines is constitutional.

The government filed its challenge with the court on Tuesday, asking it whether the federal government was acting within its authority when it passed the act that established the process earlier this year.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in June he was pondering a constitutional challenge, arguing Bill C-69 infringes on the rights of provinces to control their own natural resources. He said the legislation will kill what is left of Alberta's oil-and-gas sector.

When the bill was proclaimed into law last month, the province's justice and energy ministers vowed to challenge its constitutionality.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has said the new review process for projects like pipelines, mines and highways will be clear and timely.

She said it will allow for as many as 100 new resource projects worth $500 billion to be proposed and examined over the next 10 years.