Graham Thomson: Alberta government celebrates Trans Mountain pipeline project purchase

Gwen Vasquez
May 31, 2018

"We have a wonderful tradition in our county of civil disobedience up to a point where it infringes on the rights of others, and there's no reason, in my view, to think that the federal government taking an ownership position in this project and de-risking it from the standpoint of Kinder Morgan is going to impact the appetite of the protestors to have their voices heard".

Moe wants to know how the federal government, in partnership with Alberta, owning the project will change the B.C. government's continued opposition to the project.

"We believe this is the best way to protect thousands of well-paying jobs and the safest and most effective way to get our resources to world markets", Morneau told a news conference in Ottawa after the meeting, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr at his side.

"Trudeau is gambling billions of Canadian taxpayer dollars on an oil project that will never be built", Mike Hudema, a climate and energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Canada, declared in a statement on Tuesday.

"Typically in an infrastructure project you have one government involved, but here you got Alberta, B.C., you got the feds", de Bever said.

But British Columbia's social democratic government recently joined environmental activists' fight against the pipeline, prompting a trade row with neighbor Alberta and leading Kinder Morgan to temporarily halt its construction until the dispute was resolved.

She said she "could only hope" that the federal government will diligently monitor and maintain the pipeline to prevent a future spill.

But the note adds that it's unlikely that an acquisition would allow it to offset the benefit from the $7.4-billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

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As the government attempts to move forward on its ill-fated decision, we will be there standing shoulder to shoulder with Indigenous leaders to stop them.

While the IPO documents made clear that there was significant risk that legal and other challenges could delay or ultimately doom the project, it said even with significant cost increases and schedule delays the project should remain attractive.

Under the agreement between the federal government and Kinder Morgan, the company would resume construction on the project, which was put on hold in April. "We'll be listening to potential bidders in the near term to ascertain whether that will provide us with project certainty and a financial deal that's appropriate for Canadians". "I encourage them to continue to express their disappointment within the rule of law", he said. His days of getting out of Canada to bask in the adoring selfies are over.

He said the pipeline purchase provided the federal jurisdiction needed to overcome British Columbia's opposition, but gave no details of how this would work.

Morneau couldn't say what additional costs, if any, would be incurred by Canadians in building the pipeline.

Green Party MP Elizabeth May, representing Saanich-Gulf Islands, and Victoria NDP MP Murray Rankin both panned the federal move. Patricia Ross, who has been an outspoken critic of Kinder Morgan and cast the lone vote against the city's 2016 deal with Kinder Morgan.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has long insisted the project is in Canada's national interest and is a pivotal part of the country's economic future.

Some of the nations have also asked the court to consider new evidence, uncovered by National Observer, that suggests the federal government made up its mind to approve the project on or before October 27, 2016, while it was still supposed to be consulting the affected First Nations.

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