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Notley called the move unconstitutional and illegal, suggesting B.C.is overreaching in order to delay the $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion from Alberta to the West Coast. The latter province, which has long imported cheaply priced electricity from Alberta at night to export at higher prices during the day, could lose as much as $500 million annually if the trade relationship is severed for a long period of time.

Horgan said he's spoken with both Trudeau and Notley in recent days to reiterate his government's position that expanding the pipeline would pose a significant threat to B.C.'s economy and environment.

Trudeau said Canada needs to get Alberta's oil safely to markets other than the United States.

Clearly, B.C. should not be forced to risk our coast's ecological health and the economic foundations of our employment-intensive coastal industries, such as fishing, shellfish production, real estate and tourism in its many forms, for a sunset industry in Alberta that is losing jobs to automation anyway. Trudeau spoke on the issue on CBC Radio Thursday morning, but Notley says his comments were not strong enough.

Notley has threatened trade retaliation with B.C. if the shipping ban goes ahead. "We need this pipeline and we're going to move forward with it responsibly like I committed to".

Mayor Don Iveson said Trudeau reiterated his support for the pipeline during the visit to a storm-water management facility.

According to constitutional law, Trudeau could pull rank and make the project expansion happen through legal sanctions, said Adams, but it's more likely that the dispute will be resolved in the courts. "It's within our jurisdiction to put in place regulations to protect the public interest".

Speaking in Ottawa, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr wouldn't say what Canada might do if British Columbia implements its regulation. He said the federal government heard from thousands of people before the pipeline was approved.

He noted that, at this point, B.C. has just pledged to consult.

"This was a fight, frankly, that was started by B.C., but definitely now the gloves are off", Notley said. "We have already consulted".