'Certainty is increased': Notley on federal plan to buy Trans Mountain expansion

Kinder Morgan

While Cathy McLeod says "it's critical we have a pipeline that gets to tidewater", she cautions the federal government has "put all its eggs in one basket" with its decision Tuesday to spend $4.5 billion to buy Trans Mountain and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets.

He argued Trudeau is "gambling billions of Canadian taxpayer dollars on an oil project that will never be built - a project that Kinder Morgan itself has indicated is "untenable" and that faces more than a dozen lawsuits, crumbling economics, and a growing resistance movement that is spreading around the world". If Canada buys the pipeline, it will also acquire the personnel needed to continue with construction.

"It does change it from a federally approved project to a federally undertaken project, but the reference case ... did not speak to a specific project", he explained.

The announcement was made by Canada's finance minister, Bill Morneau, who called the proposed purchase "an investment in Canada's future". It's actually better for Kinder Morgan than it is for Canada.

"Weaker economic growth is forecast across the country, with only British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Quebec expected to see growth above 2 per cent this year", said Marie-Christine Bernard, director of provincial forecast for the Conference Board of Canada in a news release Tuesday.

Scheer said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has failed to provide certainty and "done nothing" to establish federal jurisdiction.

Kinder Morgan has threatened to back out of the expansion project by May 31 if Ottawa, B.C. and Alberta can't come to an agreement. Suzanne Wilton, a spokeswoman for Enbridge, said the company is focused on its C$22 billion growth program and would not speculate on the project.

Next, taxpayers are on the hook for the cost of twinning the project - an estimated $7.4 billion and climbing.

"Canada's purchase of a tar sands pipeline and expansion project eviscerates any claim it has to climate leadership at a key moment - doubling down on the world's dirtiest oil, rather than closing the gap on the country's Paris climate commitments", said Anthony Swift, the Canada program director for the US -based Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement.

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"Cheam formed partnerships with 13 companies involved in the pipeline construction process, and during the post-construction phase", Crey said, adding some are national companies, while others are local.

"This allows us to get rid of the political risk around [the pipeline] because we [are imposing] federal jurisdiction over the project", he said.

The federal finance minister said the government does not plan to be the long-term owner of the pipeline and expects the project to be transferred to private sector investors "at an appropriate time".

A protest sign at a rally against the Trans Mountain pipeline in Vancouver Tuesday evening. The Export Development Bank of Canada will finance the plan and create a Crown corporation to run and manage the pipeline during Canada's ownership period.

A billion-dollar project that's unpopular in parts of Canada, amid concerns raised by indigenous groups sounds ... familiar.

"We have agreed to a fair price for our shareholders", said Steve Kean, chief executive officer of Kinder Morgan Canada and Kinder Morgan Inc.

Canada loses $15 billion every year on the sale of oil because the USA remains its only export customer, resulting in a lower price, Trudeau argues. "I encourage them to continue to express their disappointment within the rule of law", he said. A lack of capacity in pipelines or in rail cars to ship oil produced in Alberta is also hurting Canada's energy sector.

Longtime pipeline opponent and Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart - who is running for mayor of Vancouver as an independent - invoked the late NDP leader Jack Layton in his speech, saying he would fight the pipeline till the very end.

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