Alberta invokes Sovereignty Act over emission regs

The legislature of the Canadian province of Alberta invoked the controversial Alberta Sovereignty Act on Nov. 27 in response to new federal environmental policies. The provincial legislature passed a resolution resolving to "urge the Government to use all legal means necessary to oppose the implementation and enforcement of the Federal Initiative in Alberta." The initiative refered to is Canada's proposed Clean Energy Regulations, which the resolution says mandate "a set of emissions standards and timelines that are unattainable within the context of Alberta's electricity industry and available energy resource," and would have "an extreme chilling effect on investment in Alberta's electricity generation industry." 

The resolution invokes the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act. The Act permits the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to render inoperative portions or the entirety of federal statutes in the province deemed by the provincial cabinet "unconstitutional or harmful to Albertans," and allows them to be replaced with substitute provincial legislation.

The Alberta government in a press release announced that Danielle Smith—the provincial premier and co-sponsor of the resolution—would travel to Dubai for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), to showcase Alberta's "common-sense and innovative approach to reducing emissions."

Smith introduced the Sovereignty Act in November 2022, asserting that Albertans no longer wanted "Ottawa to…interfere in our constitutional areas of jurisdiction."

From Jurist, Nov. 29. Used with permission.

Note: Alberta is a major producer of shale oil.

See our last reports on COP28 and the impending balkanization of Canada.