The Premier of Alberta has responded to news last week that the City of Victoria has endorsed a class action lawsuit against big oil and gas companies.
The 8-1 motion passed at Victoria city council and will now be brought up at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) meeting this September. The endorsement favours a class action lawsuit “on behalf of member local governments to recover costs arising from climate change from major fossil fuels corporations.”
The motion also asks the province to consider legislation to support local governments in recovering these costs.
In a statement from the Alberta government, Notley calls the “hypocrisy” of the proposed lawsuit to be “astounding.”
“While Victoria is pumping over 100 million litres of raw sewage into the ocean everyday, the hardworking people of our energy sector are reducing emissions, investing in clean technology and powering our great country. We will defend our workers everyday, especially against grandstanding lawsuits.”
Victoria city councillor Ben Isitt said their proposed lawsuit is an appropriate step for municipalities to safeguard financial interests.
“I think as we see the impacts of climate change coming more and more apparent, this type of action becomes an all-the-more appropriate step for municipalities to safeguard the financial interests of our residents by seeking to recover costs arising from climate change from the companies that have profited for the burning of fossil fuels,” he said.
“The other actions allow us to quantify the amount of damage the city has been experiencing and also opening the door to working with other local governments to explore potential legal proceedings to help recover these costs.”
Municipal staff from throughout the province will present their ideas at the upcoming UBCM conference Sept. 23-27 in Vancouver.