12/13/2017 11:32 EST | Updated 12/13/2017 12:01 EST

Alberta says Saskatchewan ups ante in licence plate fight, puts ban in now

EDMONTON — Alberta says Saskatchewan has served notice that as of right now no vehicles with Alberta licence plates are allowed on any Saskatchewan government job sites.

That is a change from last week, when Saskatchewan said the ban would apply only on future government road and building projects.

Alberta Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous says if the plate ban is not reversed by midnight, Alberta will take Saskatchewan to court on the grounds it is violating free-trade rules.

Bilous says Alberta will announce additional retaliatory actions Thursday.

Bilous says he spoke this week with Saskatchewan Infrastructure Minister David Marit and Trade Minister Steven Bonk, but they could not provide credible rationale for the ban.

Saskatchewan has said the ban is to retaliate against similar rules on Saskatchewan plates on Alberta job sites, but Bilous says those rules don't exist.