Canada's Government Buys Controversial Oil Pipeline, To Ensure It Gets Expanded

Elizabeth May

Canada purchases Trans Mountain pipeline project for $4.5B

A local environmental group is expressing concern about the recent deal reached between the federal government and Kinder Morgan to buy the controvesial Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Ottawa will take over the expansion and the existing pipeline and assets in a deal that will see Kinder Morgan immediately begin construction.

He added Ottawa shouldn't have to nationalize the project just to get it built. After it completes the project, Canada plans to sell the pipeline.

She suggested that could mean B.C.'s constitutional argument over that government's say in what moves through the province will have less relevance. In return, the province would receive an equity or other stake in the pipeline, depending on the size of its investment.

Crey wasn't completely surprised either by the bailout decision announced by Liberal government Ministers Bill Morneau and Jim Carr. However, the $4.5-billion loan may not be enough to see the pipeline through.

Prior to Tuesday's announcement, the Council of Canadians Victoria chapter announced it would be holding a protest on Thursday, May 31, against the pipeline expansion.

They are led by British Columbia, which is trying to stop the pipeline development in the courts on environmental grounds. 'We do not believe that this outcome will instil investor confidence in Canada, ' said Chris Bloomer, the president and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Associatin. "It will help us build up the things that matter to working families, such as our schools and our hospitals".

His Liberals face a hard balancing act in trying to champion climate action while supporting growth in Canada's oil sector.

"This is a project that will not have a fiscal impact", he said when asked how it would affect the federal government's deficit projections.

Many demonstrators are outraged with people calling the decision to use tax payer money to save the project 'ridiculous, ' reported News 1130.

"The Trans Mountain expansion project is of vital interest to Canada and to Canadians", Morneau told a news conference in Ottawa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has just signed up to captain the Titanic of tar sands oil pipelines, putting it on a collision course with its commitments to Indigenous rights and the Paris climate agreement.

Alberta's premier says the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion "has more certainty", after the federal finance minister announced plans to buy the project Tuesday morning. "It spoke to the transportation of diluted bitumen through British Columbia by rail or by pipe". During protests in March, 172 people were arrested in one week. The much more ambitious Energy East project was abandoned by TransCanada Corp. amid outcry in Quebec - and no government move to save it.

For those opposed to the pipeline twinning, including Indigenous leaders and environmentalists, the bailout probably came as a "big surprise, if not a shock", he said.

Rookie Burnaby North-Seymour MP Terry Beech, a one-time opponent of the project who, in 2016, referred to its approval as a "difficult reality", also did not respond to Postmedia's request for an interview.

If the federal government loses the case, it would have an opportunity to correct the errors in process, but that would create a lot of uncertainty in terms of project timing and overall costs, Kung said. "At the appropriate time, Canada will work with investors to transfer the project and related assets to a new owner or owners, in a way that ensures the project's construction and operation will proceed in a manner that protects the public interest", the government said on Tuesday.

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