Kenney lauds Senate committee rejecting tanker ban, promises to continue fight

CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is calling for a full-court press to kill Ottawa's proposed B.C. coast tanker ban now that it has been defeated in a Senate committee.

Kenney says he hopes the full Senate will follow the lead of its transportation and communications committee and reject Bill C-48.

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He says that in the meantime he hopes to rally support for his cause by meeting with Alberta senators next week and having his energy minister head to Ottawa to make Alberta's case to senators there.

The Alberta legislature will also be putting forward a motion next week calling for the Senate to reject the bill.

Bill C-48 would put into law a long-standing voluntary moratorium on coastal tanker traffic between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska border — something Alberta says would frustrate efforts to grow its oil industry.

The House of Commons passed the bill a week ago.

Kenney says he will also keep pushing to have the Senate reject Bill C-69, proposed legislation opponents say would make it difficult to get future energy megaprojects approved.

"We will continue to work on behalf of Albertans in speaking truth to power," Kenney said Thursday.

The Senate committee rejected Bill C-48 with a 6-6 vote Wednesday night.

The committee's five Conservative senators voted against it, as did Alberta independent Paula Simons. Five other independents and one self-identified Liberal voted in favour.

A tie vote meant the proposal failed.

Simons said she wasn't confident that enough homework had been done to justify a permanent ban.

— By Dean Bennett in Edmonton

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