Sask. reacts to federal government's purchase of Trans Mountain pipeline

Kinder Morgan

$4.5B Trans Mountain plan won't mean Ottawa in pipeline business, says Morneau

Sarnia-Lambton's MP says the Justin Trudeau government has shown a lack of leadership on the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

I hope @JustinTrudeau knows that this decision is going to haunt him everywhere he travels in the world.

"We're going to see more of this until we get to a point where we have stable government that recognizes jurisdiction and also that recognizes that projects that have passed through the stages that they need to pass through the stages of approval should be built", he said.

Kinder Morgan a year ago said it was about $7.4 billion, plus about $1 billion already spent - an estimate that's now considered low. The project has always been in the national interest.

Environmentalists jumped on the Trudeau bandwagon because the Liberal Leader had promised to respect Indigenous rights, fight climate change and end fossil-fuel subsidies.

Premier Dwight Ball is happy to see the federal government step in and buy the Kinder Morgan pipeline, but tossed cold water on any notion of the federal government taking Muskrat Falls off the provincial government's hands. If completed, the project would twin the existing pipeline that has been in place since 1953. "We have a pipeline to build". This is not a great day for Canada's reputation on the worldwide investment front.

Exactly none of that has happened, the future of the pipeline is still in doubt and billions of dollars of taxpayers' money are now at risk.

The courts are the final, unknown variable in play and their upcoming decisions, as they did with Site C, will decide the final fate of Trans Mountain but it's hard to imagine, as it was with Site C, how the judges put a stop to it.

"Our government believes that the commercial agreement we have reached with Kinder Morgan is the best way to protect thousands of good, well-paying jobs while delivering a solid return on investment for Canadians". In his global debut as Prime Minister, Mr. Trudeau was accorded rock star status at the United Nations climate conference in Paris in December, 2015. Here, oil tanks stand near the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion site in Burnaby, British Columbia, in April. But British Columbia has refused to yield.

It takes a third of a barrel of imported light oil to move one barrel of bitumen through a pipeline. For those against the pipeline but voted Green instead of NDP in the provincial election previous year, they're impressed with Horgan's fortitude and may rethink their vote next time. During protests in March, 172 people were arrested in one week. The federal government actually has an excellent record of buying out or financing troubled companies and projects, turning them around and then selling them for significant profit.

"Two out of five proposed new tar sands pipelines have now been cancelled in the face of indigenous and environmental legal challenges, widespread public opposition and changing economics", Hudema said.

The Trans Mountain expansion has faced fierce opposition from environmental groups and some British Columbia First Nations and municipalities.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was applauded by her staff and caucus after a news conference Tuesday on the federal government's purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

The Canadian government said that it does not intend to "be a long term owner of this project", noting it plans to work with investors to transfer the project to a new owner.

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