Federal government spending $4.5B to buy Trans Mountain pipeline

Pressed about why the federal government's $4.5-billion price tag was so much lower than Kinder Morgan's stated $7.4-billion project value, Morneau said Ottawa was purchasing all the relevant assets - but he studiously avoided saying whether construction would increase costs.

The Chilliwack-area chief has been vocal on social media and in the mainstream press for several months trying to shoot down the notion that B.C. First Nations were united in lockstep in opposition to the expansion.

We are endeavouring to move positively into the next decades without further harming the Earth.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has worked himself into a bit of a mess, with news of the pending purchase drawing the ire of various environmental groups who see the deal as a betrayal of Liberal promises. In my opinion, it was also his final and fatal fall from grace.

Canada's Finance Director Bill Morneau said the federal government does not intend to be the long-term owner of the pipeline and would work with investors to transfer ownership in the future.

Likewise, for supporters of the project, many view this change in ownership as bringing the pipeline no closer to actually getting built. We don't say this maliciously.

Outrage over the federal government's announcement about buying the Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure it gets built could fuel unprecedented protests, says a prominent environmentalist who was at the forefront of British Columbia's so-called War in the Woods in the 1990s.

If Canada takes on the project, Export Development Canada would finance it through a newly established Crown corporation - an approach officials say would help to defray B.C.'s threats of delay.


March 9, 2018: B.C. Supreme Court grants interim injunction aimed at preventing anti-pipeline activists from protesting construction at two terminals in Burnaby. "We have a pipeline to build".

Morneau stressed repeatedly the pipeline is commercially viable and profitable. His concerns largely stem from the limited science available on how diluted bitumen behaves if it is spilled and the risk that comes from increasing the amount of it being shipped on tankers out of Kinder Morgan's marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

"I knew the potential options they were facing, I just didn't know which one they would settle on", Crey said. Kinder Morgan previous year said it was about $7.4 billion, plus about $1 billion already spent - an estimate that's now considered low.

The federal government can in theory step in and disallow any provincial laws that British Columbia might use to block the pipeline, but this provision in the Canadian constitution has not been used since the 1940s.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, however, could barely contain her delight.

The government's purchase price is reasonable if broken down into $3.5 billion for the existing pipeline and $1 billion to recoup money already spent on the expansion, said Richard Masson, former CEO of the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission and a fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy.

The federal Liberals have described the Trans Mountain expansion as being in the national interest and have long vowed that the project will be completed.

"This is an extremely sad day for Canadian taxpayers", Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said during question period.


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