(File)

Taxpayers’ group seeks standing in pipeline, carbon tax legal battles

B.C. has asked province’s top court to affirm its right to protect itself from spill threat

An advocacy group that argues for the interests of taxpayers will be asking the courts to allow it take part in separate legal cases in British Columbia and Saskatchewan in a dispute over federal and provincial jurisdiction.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it will request permission for intervener status to fight the federal carbon tax in Saskatchewan and in favour of getting pipelines built through B.C.

A reference question filed in the B.C. Appeal Court by the provincial government is asking it to affirm its right to protect the province from the threat of a diluted bitumen spill.

READ MORE: B.C. seeks court ruling on new pipeline regulations

The group is also applying to the courts for standing in the Saskatchewan case where the provincial government wants a ruling on whether the federal government can impose a carbon tax.

Federation director Aaron Wudrick says it’s critical that Canadian taxpayers be represented at both proceedings where federal and provincial jurisdictions will be clarified.

The federation says it will be filing the intervener applications over the coming weeks.

The federal Liberal government has already announced that it will intervene in the B.C. case, which could decide the future of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from the Edmonton-area to port in Burnaby.

Kris Sims, the B.C. director for the federation, says the Canadian way of life and economic prosperity depend on oil and gas and British Columbia must stop efforts to block the expansion.

“We are going to bat for taxpayers in this fight because without a robust economy, and without access to affordable oil and gas, people in B.C. won’t be able to drive to work, the cost of everything will surge and they won’t be able to pay the taxes that our governments impose on us,” Sims says.

The Canadian Press

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