PM says government committed to Trans Mountain, carbon tax

'It is a crisis': Alberta premier withdraws support for federal climate plan

'It is a crisis': Alberta premier withdraws support for federal climate plan

In a unanimous decision by a panel of three judges released Thursday, the court said the National Energy Board's review of the proposal was so flawed that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion.

Once the board issues a new recommendation to cabinet, the federal government will have to redo its final phase of consultation with all the affected First Nations along the pipeline route.

That court decision does not affect the government's finances for the 2018-19 fiscal year, but is a negative for Alberta's economy, the Alberta government said.

That could take a few years, experts say.

Notley is only defending Kinder Morgan so she doesn't suffer a humiliating loss in the 2019 provincial election, her plan to pull out of the federal climate change plan isn't enough to bring back Pipeline jobs, it's probably the best time to kick Albertas Carbon Tax out the window.

On Thursday, the Federal Court of Appeals ruled that Kinder Morgan and the Trudeau administration had not adequately consulted with the First Nations tribes whose land the pipeline is set to pass through-moments before the $4.5 billion sale was approved by Kinder Morgan's shareholders.

The energy board should first conduct its new review, which will involve receiving written submissions, consulting with Indigenous groups and holding hearings, said Chris Tollefson, a law professor at the University of Victoria.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has downplayed the dramatic decision by Alberta's premier to abandon his national climate plan, pointing out that the province is already doing what he wants.

Notley called on the Trudeau government to fight the issue at the Supreme Court and recall Parliament to give what she called a "crisis" the attention it deserves.

Alberta's current climate plan already includes a price on carbon of $30 per tonne. The Canadian government said in late May it will buy Kinder Morgan's 300,000 barrels a day pipeline and 590,000 barrels a day expansion project for $3.5 billion.

Earlier this year, in an escalating dispute with the B.C. government over Trans Mountain, Notley's government passed sweeping legislation allowing it to intervene in the marketplace and restrict oil flows if necessary to maximize prices while also sending a sharp message to Canadian regions reliant on Alberta's oil.

Notley said the province is still committed to its own climate change leadership plan despite the move away from the federal plan. Until 2021, Alberta's price will be higher than or equal to the federal targets.

In the face of court challenges over the carbon tax from Ontario and Saskatchewan, and wavering support from Atlantic provinces, Alberta was one of the strongest supporters of the federal plan, but that resolve appears to have been shattered. "People didn't believe that (the federal government) had skin in the game before - I think we all know that they do now", Notley said.

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