Trudeau's Pipeline Purchase Cost Canadians $4.5 Billion And A Better Future

This pipeline still faces a litany of lawsuits, crumbling economics - that seemed to scare everyone but the federal government, and a growing resistance movement that yesterday's announcement just supersized.

Until now, Trudeau's government has used a soft tone to try to convince British Columbia to abandon its opposition to the pipeline, hoping not to alienate voters in the province before next year's general election.

"Canada stands to sacrifice its global reputation, irreplaceable iconic species like the Southern resident Killer Whales, and its commitments to meet its Paris Climate targets and to reconcile with Indigenous people - all while putting enormous risk on Canadian taxpayers".

Kinder Morgan will proceed on twinning the pipeline while the sale is being finalized.

The ensuing uncertainty, paired with vociferous opposition from environmental groups and some Indigenous communities in B.C., prompted Kinder Morgan to halt investment until the federal government could inject some certainty into the project.

"John Horgan picked a fight with Alberta and provoked a constitutional crisis with Ottawa over this project and this is now the embarrassing result", Wilkinson said.

But Perrin Beatty, chief executive of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said the government needs to revamp the "badly broken" regulatory system for major energy projects.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled the government's long-awaited, big-budget strategy on Tuesday to save the plan to expand the oilsands pipeline.

The federal government insists the project falls under its jurisdiction.

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.

"It's a mess out there", said a Calgary industry source not authorized to speak publicly. "Let's get on with it and I think that's the positive we have to take out of it".

Morneau said more spending would be needed to complete the expansion, but gave no precise financial details, and stressed he felt the project should be returned to the private sector. "Really the only difference is Kinder Morgan's convinced Canada to pay for the project".

"They decided the risk was out of whack and they backed away".

In 2007, Kinder Morgan reported to the National Energy Board that it valued the Trans Mountain pipeline system at $550 million.

"I think the transaction is a win-win".

Kinder Morgan agreed, hailing the payout from Canada.

"This whole exercise has shone a light on what companies have known for years: Canada is too costly, too complex and takes too long to come to a decision and get things done".

Wilkinson said among his constituents, people have strongly held views on both sides of the debate, but "on balance, the majority of folks in the riding would like us to get on with seeing this project moves ahead".

But the finance minister has been pressed on the possibility that future costs could well exceed that number, as the company has previously pegged the total expansion cost at $7.4 billion. The contribution will convert into equity in the pipeline.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley have been adamant that the project is good for the entire country, B.C. Premier Joe Horgan and indigenous groups in B.C. have been opposed to the project for months.

  • Carolyn Briggs