Canada purchases Trans Mountain pipeline project for $4.5B

Gwen Vasquez
May 31, 2018

Peter McCartney, climate campaigner for the Wilderness Committee, warned that an oil company owned by the government of Canada will now be "dragging protesting Indigenous youth off their own territory to make way for its reckless pipeline and tanker project".

Opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline are not giving up following Tuesday's announcement that the federal government will purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline and the expansion for $4.5 billion. But $4.5 billion won't cover the future construction costs.

"We appreciate that the federal government is taking a leadership role to get construction on this important national infrastructure project quickly restarted".

"This is a betrayal by a government who ran on a hopeful vision for a better future", said Andrew Weaver, the B.C. Green Party Leader.

Although he said the deal is to ensure the pipeline is built, Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Ottawa doesn't intend to be the pipeline's long-term owner, with plans to sell the project once it's done. "It's a government that committed to the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples", says Mike Hudema, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace Canada. 'He promised a new relationship with my people.

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.

But John Horgan, the premier of British Columbia, said the federal government's purchase won't halt his province's court challenge.

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"We're going to physically, directly intervene and stop the destruction, starting on Friday".

Kean said the company would restart construction using federal government funds before the closing of the deal, expected late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2018. Finance Minister Bill Morneau believes Canada's authority to build the pipeline will be able to overcome any resistance, be it from protesters or the B.C. government. For those who have soft support for the pipeline but are unimpressed with how Trudeau and Alberta premier Rachel Notley have thrown their weight around to bully B.C. into submission, Horgan appears as a resolute premier standing up for B.C. against the selfish outsiders from Edmonton and Ottawa. Morneau declined to say what the government's ultimate financial outlay would be. But the Liberal government has cash, jurisdictional sovereignty (probably), limited Crown immunity, buildings full of lawyers, and the benefit of a majority of its population who support the project.

Manuel's group, Tiny House Warriors, plans on physically blocking construction of the pipeline.

The project will duplicate an existing 1,150km pipeline, allowing it to ship up to 890,000 barrels of oil a day from landlocked Alberta to the Pacific coast of neighbouring British Columbia, in western Canada, for export overseas.

And the Opposition Conservatives were livid at the prospect of nationalizing a private-sector asset.

Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Glen Motz weighed into the debate over the federal governments plans to buy out the Kinder Morgan pipeline project. Those costs would be covered either directly or indirectly through reimbursement by the Canadian taxpayer. But Ottawa will immediately seek new buyers in the private sector and has promised to also extend insurance to them for any politically-motivated delays.

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