The Canadian Pipeline Saga: Exploring the Limits of Cooperative Federalism

Calgary-based partner Stephanie Stimpson and senior associate Peter Danner have co-authored a piece for Expert Guides that takes a look at Canada’s lack of pipeline capacity and its need to transport landlocked resources to tidewater.

The piece, titled “The Canadian Pipeline Saga: Exploring the Limits of Cooperative Federalism,” discusses a number of points, including the constitutional considerations between Parliament and the provinces, and the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project.

An excerpt from the article is below.

Even with the Keystone XL project poised to proceed (increasing pipeline capacity to the United States), Canadian producers still face limited ability to ship production to the west coast for export to potentially lucrative Asian markets.

The only existing option for Canada's oil producers to reach overseas market is shipping crude oil on the Trans Mountain pipeline system (the TMPL) through Alberta and British Columbia to reach the Westridge marine terminal at Burnaby, B.C. Any new pipelines to Canada's west coast would also need to pass through British Columbia. This has been largely opposed by B.C.'s coastal communities. With legislative powers constitutionally divided between the Canadian Parliament and the provincial legislatures, attempts to build new pipelines have seen the B.C. government and local municipalities assert their jurisdictional authority in direct opposition to the federal government and the other provinces.

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To discuss these issues, please contact the author(s).

This publication is a general discussion of certain legal and related developments and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, we would be pleased to discuss the issues in this publication with you, in the context of your particular circumstances.

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